***The Hunger Games Group Read- Chapter 2

Community Leader
Registered: 03-05-2005
***The Hunger Games Group Read- Chapter 2
4
Fri, 12-23-2011 - 5:23pm

Summary

Katniss volunteers to take her sister's place as tribute, thinking about how the odds had been in Prim's favor, that her name was one in a thousand and never should have been drawn in the first place. Prim protests, but Gale carries her off. Effie Trinket tries to make Katniss' volunteering sound exciting, asking the audience for applause, but the audience, to its credit, remains silent. Their silence sends a message of dissent to the Capitol and the ways of the Hunger Games. As a tribute to Katniss, the audience members hold their three middle fingers of their left hand to their lips and then hold them out to Katniss, a District 12 gesture that shows admiration, thanks, and goodbye to someone they love. Katniss comes close to crying, something she knows she mustn't do because it would indicate weakness to the other tributes and make her look vulnerable; thankfully, Haymitch distracts the crowd and the cameras by stumbling off stage.

Peeta Mellark is chosen as District 12's boy tribute, which makes Katniss feel as if the odds truly are against her. She is not friends with Peeta, but she recalls how they first met. It was years ago when Katniss was 11 and her father had recently died. Her mother was in such a deep depression that she couldn't work or provide for Katniss or Prim, and the three of them nearly starved. On an cold, rainy afternoon, Katniss did anything she could to get money or food. She gave up trying to sell Prim's baby clothes after dropping them in a mud puddle. She considers stealing, but in District 12, such an offense is punishable by death. She checks trash bins and is at the baker's when the baker's wife, Peeta's mother, shouts at her and runs her off. That's when she sees Peeta watching her. Katniss collapses and decides she is ready to die right there when she hears a commotion from inside the bakery, the baker's wife shouting at Peeta to give the bread to the hogs, calling him a "stupid creature." When Peeta's mother isn't looking, he tosses the bread to Katniss, who notices a red welt on his cheek where his mother has hit him. The bread looks as if it's been dropped in the fire, its crust burned black, but this bread saves Katniss and her family and renews her hope for survival.

The next day, she thinks that maybe Peeta burned the bread on purpose so that she could have it, but can't imagine why he would do that since they are strangers and he is a town boy and she's from the Seam. One day, though, she notices him staring at her from across the school yard, and she averts her eyes, embarrassed, focusing on a dandelion, which causes her to remember a lesson her father taught her in the woods about using dandelions as a food source. The bread, the dandelion, and Peeta are all connected. They all contribute to her survival, which makes her feel that she owes Peeta something, and she hates feeling like she owes anyone anything, particularly when she's expected to kill that person.

Analysis


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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-20-2004
Tue, 12-27-2011 - 11:15am

OK, has anyone else finished the book already


Melissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Tue, 12-27-2011 - 12:55pm

1. What is the protocol for volunteering? In some districts, where people are eager to volunteer, the process is said to be more complicated, But in District 12, there was some confusion, even to Effie... She was able to remember that the reaping "winner" is introduced and then volunteers are asked for and it one comes forward then... and she couldn't remember past that point.
2. What does silence at the reaping mean? It's their only way of showing they do not condone the games, that the entire process is wrong.
3. What does three middle fingers to the mouth and then held out mean? It signifies thanks, admiration and good-bye to someone you love.
4. Who is the male tribute and how does Katniss know him? What is ironic about his selection? Peeta Mellark, the son of the local baker. He once took a beating from his mom for deliberately dropping loaves of bread into the fire, so that he could sneak them to Katniss when she and her family were starving. The irony of his selection is that according to the rules of the Hunger Games, she must kill the person who once gave her the hope to survive.
5. What is Katniss’s mother’s mental state? How has it affected Katniss? Her mother had become disconnected from the world, wrapped in her own grief. She seemed to resign their lives in defeat. Katniss took over the responsibility of caring for the family completely on her own.
6. What was the significance of the dandelion? At school, Katniss caught Peeta's eye and being embarrassed, she dropped her gaze down and saw the first dandelion of the year. It reminded her of the time she spent with her father in the woods and she knew then how to keep her family alive.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Tue, 12-27-2011 - 12:57pm

I've finished the book, so we can go at whatever pace works well for all of you. :smileywink:

Community Leader
Registered: 03-05-2005
Tue, 12-27-2011 - 3:56pm

However you guys wanted to do the re-read is fine with me.


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