Chapters 5 and 6 of Mockingjay are a study in contrast as to how Katniss has evolved since the early chapters of The Hunger Games to this point in the story. It’s actually quite amazing when you think about it.
In The Hunger Games, Katniss keeps the simple bow and arrows her father made hidden in a hollow log in the woods. Now in Thirteen, she’s given a voice-activated bow that sits in a case of crushed maroon velvet and shoots razor sharp, incendiary and explosive arrows.
In THG, she uses her bow to hunt animals in the woods so her family can eat. Now she has a custom weapon designed to kill people.
In THG, I… slide into my hunting boots. Supple leather that has molded to my
feet. I pull on trousers, a shirt, tuck my long dark braid into a
cap…. Now she dresses in a Mockingjay costume complete with a helmet of some interwoven metal that fits close to my head. A vest to reinforce the protection over my vital organs. A small white earpiece that attaches to my collar by a wire. A mask to my belt that I don’t have to wear unless there’s a gas attack.
In THG she promises Prim to try and win the Games. She is cautious in her actions. Now in Thirteen she insists on going into combat and tells Coin to “make sure and get some footage” if she is killed in Eight. “You can use that anyway.“
In THG, she and Gale feast on bakery bread, goat cheese, and strawberries in the beautiful woods of Twelve. Now in Thirteen,they dine on a meal of grayish fish and okra stew in an underground cafeteria.
In THG a drunken Haymitch staggers across the stage, gives a drunken rant, and falls off the stage knocking himself unconscious. In Thirteen a sober Haymitch who looks slightly yellow and has lost a lot of weight giving him a shrunken appearance, gathers a select group together to craft a plan to turn Katniss into the Mockingjay.
In THG she notes, I’ve only ridden the elevator a couple of times in the Justice Building back in Twelve. After riding the glass elevator in the training building, I’m tempted to ask Effie Trinket if we can ride it again, but somehow that seems childish. Now in Thirteen she casually rides an elevator that goes sideways. Boggs tells her, “There’s a whole network of elevator paths under Thirteen.”
In THG, she travels by train and talks of the speed and luxury. In Thirteen she flies through the clouds in a hovercraft and takes it for granted.
In THG, she uses nightlock berries to challenge the Gamemakers to let both her and Peeta win. Now she is given a nightlock suicide pill that she is ordered to use if she is captured.
And we see some changes in Gale as well, that clearly indicate the path he is going down.
Like Katniss, in THG Gale hunts in the woods with a bow and arrow, but also using snares. In Thirteen, Katniss looks at Gale’s bow that has a scope and notes to him, “That doesn’t seem very fair to the deer,” I say. “Wouldn’t be using it on deer, would I?” he answers.
In THG Katniss mentions that Gale had the idea to string mesh nets around the strawberry patch to keep out the animals. In Thirteen Gale talks about using fine mesh to make a snare to trap hummingbirds. Why? Even Katniss points out there’s not much meat on them.
In a little over a year, Katniss’ entire world has changed. No wonder she is so overwhelmed. The only constant seems to be Peeta. He snagged her heart on the day he threw her that bread and even though he’s not in Thirteen yet, her decision to become the Mockingjay, her enthusiastic participation in that role are all because she wants to save him.
“We’re still in the game.”
“Still in. And I’m still your mentor.” Haymitch tells her.
Now that I’ve gotten my positive message out there, time for a little bit of bitter truth tea (Not about Once fandom, mind you. So all my lovely fellow Once fans, you don’t have to worry - this isn’t directed towards you and if you feel like clicking away from this post right now, that’s totally cool with me)