The Question of Free Will -Catching Fire CH4 -

@everlarkedalways  Chapter four made me think a lot about choices and how each person perceived their situation.

Free will is the one item that every human being is guaranteed.  In this chapter Katniss is basically speaking about her free will and the lack therefore of.   Let me state it’s not that she doesn’t want to marry Peeta, she has no objections about that.  It’s that she has no say in the matter.  Remember Katniss has gone from an independent girl, who illegally hunted and traded, to a lost girl, a puppet of the Capitol.

It is this internal strife we see in this chapter, when she is speaking about marriage to Peeta.  Think about the multiple choices you make during the day, for example are you a coffee drinker or a tea drinker? You have a preference and an option.  Katniss has none of that.  

For example, the food on the train is dictated by Snow, no ingredient went inside that train galley that Snow didn’t approve of.  Everything else follows suit: the clothing, the room, the furniture, the speeches they have to give to the Districts, even her hygiene is controlled by the Capitol.  They view her as less than and she is forced to comply with a beauty regiment.  She is being told you’re not pretty but we will make you presentable.  And you will do what Snow tells you. Consequently if she wanted Peeta, she did not have the opportunity to choose for herself, she had to do what Snow wanted.

Her Free Will is no more.

Yet there is Peeta and in one swoop he sweetly takes his own destiny in control. Perhaps it was the fact that he didn’t have much control of his life in the Bakery and it’s why Peeta is able to operate outside of the given lines. We see it in his paintings, his steadfastness, and his speech:

“It can in no way replace your losses, but as a token of our thanks we’d like for each of the tributes’ families from District Eleven to receive one month of our winnings every year for the duration of our lives.” - Page 59 Catching Fire

This is when she starts to see Peeta as more than just a friend, a fellow tribute, or co-winner of the Games.  He is her partner, a fellow trail blazer, a rebel who has a voice.  It is this voice that she listens to later on in Mockingjay, this voice that opens up to the possibility that perhaps she too has a voice.   She follows his cue to speak up about Rue and Thresh in the subsequent pages.  

You can see how Katniss begins to appreciate who he is outside of the Games. He’s no longer that feverish boy, he doesn’t need her, but she is beginning to see that perhaps, she needs him.  That what Haymitch said is true, she couldn’t do any better.  She kisses him not because he’s hurt or in emotional pain but because they are equals and she wants to kiss him.  

This kiss, his speech, her speech spurred the flames of rebellion.

The Hunger Games Reread Chapters 1&2: The Reaping Katniss & Peeta.

“There’s some confusion on the stage. District 12 hasn’t had a volunteer in decades…” (Ch2 HG)

There right there that stopped me in my tracks.  What does it say about a district where no one volunteers for their loved ones?  Where is the compassion?  You are eighteen and your twelve year old brother or sister gets called and you have been taught to do nothing but sit by.  That is what struck me.  For Seventy Four years there has not been a volunteer in decades, that mean’s not even during Fiftieth Quarter Quell was there a volunteer in District Twelve.  

A coldness to not do anything to help your neighbor or family member.  It is the same mentality that ruled when Katniss father died, no one in the Seam came to look on the Everdeen girls.  Except for one boy, who voluntarily burned some bread and threw it to her knowing he would get hurt.  

Other than this small incident, there was a generation of people so oppressed that they did not think to act to protect their loved ones.  Except for Katniss, who loved her sister so much she did not want to see her baby sister Prim suffer. The sister that she described as ‘sweet Prim.’  Her sister was good and it was ironic that shortly after this Peeta’s name was called.  We once more see that oppressed coldness.

Effie Trinket asks for volunteers, but no one steps forward. He has two older brothers, I know, I’ve seen them in the bakery, but one is probably too old now to volunteer and the other won’t. This is standard. Family devotion only goes so far for most people on reaping day.  What I did was the radical thing. (Ch2 HG)

Katniss is shocked and recalls that this is the boy.  Peeta is boy that Katniss describes as good later on.  He was the boy who voluntarily helped save her family when no one else would.  So into the Arena two volunteers went in, Katniss who sacrificed herself for Prim and Peeta who sacrificed himself for Katniss.

Katniss LOVES Peeta!

In the book she hugs Haymitch because he loves Peeta too.  How can anyone think she doesn’t love Peeta or that she settled for him when she said it right there.  She never said she loved Gale, she said there was no time for that.