If I keep reading at this rate, It’ll take me until 2013 to finish reading The Hunger Games. Don’t worry, I plan to finish “Read ‘The Hunger Games’ With Jimmy” before the film comes out in March. It’s a Thanksgiving miracle!
Chapter Three-November 24, 2011
Where I began: The Moment the anthem ends, we are taken into custody.
Where I ended: “So laugh away!” says Effie Trinket. She hops in her pointy shoes around the pool of vomit and flees the room.
This was the first time that the voice of our narrator has really jumped out at me.
Katniss is a very smart girl. She’s cunning, brave, and refuses to go down without a fight. She has unfortunately had to start fighting at an early age, but thankfully the fight has given her the skills that she will need to survive her destiny.
Katniss is also a relatively uneducated girl from a mining district. When you think about it, she’s the ultimate miner’s daughter in that she knows about what matters. She knows how to provide for her family, she knows how to put herself between danger and those that she cares about, and she knows how to survive.
With that being said, (or written, as it were) it is important to highlight how Katniss as a narrator affects the series as a whole. She is short and frank with her audience, giving them the information they need to understand her and not a morsel more. When describing her final conversation with Prim and her mother, she doesn’t pause to get sappy in the details. She tells us what she told Prim (how to get fuel, how to trade), and gives us dialogue where it matters: when Prim tells her that she’s sure she can win, and when Katniss is telling her mother that she needs to be strong in order to survive. That’s what matters to her.
I’m not saying that Katniss is too simple to feel complex feelings (the truth seems to be quite the contrary, actually) but I am saying that her point of view is limited by what she perceives as important. We see this complex world rather simply in that way, and that’s what makes this series so intriguing.
It is so much like The Giver in that a very troubling and complex world is slowly and simply revealed to not be our world, the only difference is that with The Hunger Games, it is our world.
It’s chilling to hear that the Capitol is located in a place that was “once called the Rockies” and that the desperate District 12 “was in a region known as Appalachia.”
I had already forgotten that this place isn’t in some far off English territory like Hogwarts or in an abandoned pineapple at the bottom of the ocean, this story takes place is the ruins of my own American soil. How many times will we be reminded of this? I wonder where Southern California (my home) lies on this newly remodeled map of North America. Wait, no. Don’t tell me. I’m not listening, la la la la la.
From the very beginning, Gale wasn’t my favorite character. I didn’t like how he talked to Madge in the first chapter (Is it her fault that her family is well off? No, dude. Leave it alone and stop being a dick) but I found it funny that just a few paragraphs after Katniss’s voice dawned on me, I realized that Gale’s voice has more of the same. His first words have nothing in remorse or worthless sympathy.
“Listen,” he says. “Getting a knife should be pretty easy. but you’ve got to get your hands on a bow. That’s your best chance.”
Like Katniss, he immediately makes the jump to survival. There’s no doubting why, they grew up in the same place and under similar circumstance. They’ve needed to be thinking about survival since day one. They don’t waste any time with non-essentials. They talk about Katniss’s game plan for the entire conversation before the peacekeepers haul him away.
Even his last words, “Katniss, remember I-” probably had no romance in the second half. I might be proved dreadfully wrong later on, but I remain confident that his last words to her were “Katniss, remember I told you to aim high to account for wind resistance.”
Then there’s Peeta’s dad. Katniss already pointed out that between her and Peeta it will (and must) come down to kill or be killed, so Peeta’s dad tries to remedy the situation with cookies? It’s clarified upon first meeting him that the baker is a good man (a trait that he probably passed to his son) so the gesture was more than likely a decent one, but I was almost insulted for Katniss when he presented the cookies to her. He knows that only one can live, so what exactly could he be trying to do? He promises Katniss that Prim will not starve, yet his son sits at her mercy.
Hold on, what if everything he was doing was in preparation for Katniss’s inevitable death? Wow, that puts a whole different spin on things. I guess those must have been “I’m sorry my son has been randomly chosen to kill you” cookies.
In all honesty, the baker is a good man that has been put in a terrible circumstance. Baking cookies and talking to the unfortunate people that were chosen to participate in this bureaucratic brawl seems to be all he can do.
Mockingjays are introduced in this chapter and they will no doubt become important later, (Spoiler Alert: The last book is called MockingJay) but they are quickly brushed aside as Katniss goes to have dinner with Peeta and Effie. Katniss once again displays what is important to her (Hint:It’s not table manners) and Haymitch throws up all over himself (in true Haymitch style).
Man, I can’t wait to hear about how Haymitch won the Hunger Games in his past. Did the Hunger Games used to be a drinking game? Did everyone else just take shots before succumbing to alcohol poisoning and Haymitch was the only one left standing? If he was, I bet he wasn’t standing for long.
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Wanna know when the next one will come out? I think it’s about time I’ve started making “Read ‘The Hunger Games’ With Jimmy” a weekly affair. Does Thursday work for everyone? Great!
Wanna talk to me about The Hunger Games? Drop me a comment right here on this page or talk to me on twitter @ThisIsJimmyBean, but let’s please keep things spoiler-free. We’re all adults here, right? Remember, If you spoil this for me I will find out where you live and drink all of your milk. Then you won’t have any left for cereal tomorrow.