Spring Assessment

 Will you survive?

Author's Note: This book is full of adventure and suspense. It took so many twists and turns the I was not expecting. In this piece, I work on my AB transitions and voice. I incorporate some quotes from the book.

“May the odds be ever in your favor.” Some may not have heard this phrase before, but in the nation of Panem, they hear it every year. In The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, 24 tributes, ages 12-18 are chosen to be put in an arena to fight till their death. Only one person is allowed to come out alive. There are 2 children picked from each district, one girl and one boy. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are chosen to fight for District 12. So much competition goes on as the tributes hunt for weapons to defeat the others. Each person is brave and courageous when they fight against their enemies. As they battle in the games, affection is an important factor for Katniss and Peeta. These two tributes from District 12 experience competition, courage, and love as they fight to be the last one standing.

“Prim!” The strangled cry comes out of my throat, and my muscles begin to move again. “Prim!” I don’t need to shove through the crowd. The other kids make way immediately allowing me a straight path to the stage. I reach her just as she is about to mount the steps. With one sweep of my arm, I push her behind me. “I volunteer!” I gasp. “I volunteer as tribute!” (p. 23) Everyone in the games had to be brave to defend their life. Katniss was courageous by taking her sister’s place in the games, by saving Prim’s life and putting her own at risk. Her first mindset was that she wouldn’t be coming out of that arena alive. Except after Katniss promises to Prim that she will win for her, she becomes determined making her leave her first mindset out of the question.

You need courage to be in a competition. The Hunger Games is much more than a game; it’s a matter of life and death. Peeta and Katniss managed to survive until almost all of the tributes are killed. When they join together as a team, it is close to impossible to defeat them. Since they decide to become “allies”, they become competition for not only the other tributes, but for the Capitol as well. Everyone knows that Peeta and Katniss’s “rebellion” was the cause of this. When it all came down to just the two of them, the Capitol made a law saying that only one victor was allowed to live. Both of them wouldn’t be able to live with themselves if the other one died, so they were completely against that theory. To avoid losing each other, they take the courage to stuff poisonous berries in their mouths. They hope that what they had done affected the Capitol, and sure enough, it does have an effect on the Capitol. “Hold them out. I want everyone to see,” he says. I spread out my fingers, and the dark berries glisten in the sun. I give Peeta’s hand one last squeeze as a signal, as a good-bye, and we begin counting. “One.” Maybe I’m wrong. “Two.” Maybe they don’t care if we both die. “Three!” It’s too late to change my mind I lift my hand to my mouth, taking one last look at the world. The berries have just passed my lips when the trumpets begin to blare. The frantic voice of Claudius Templesmith shouts above them. “Stop! Stop! Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to present the victors of the Seventy-fourth Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark! I give you --- the tributes of District Twelve!” (p. 344, 345) The Capitol couldn’t stand not having a victor come out of the Hunger Games, so they changed the law back. Since this final law was confirmed, both Peeta and Katniss were able to come out alive.

In the midst of the competition, they risk their lives for each other by almost eating the berries and reveal how strong their love is between them. For Peeta and Katniss, love is a key component in the Hunger Games. Peeta loves Katniss, but Katniss feels that since she’s spent her whole life trying to survive, that she can’t attach to people.  “What? What are you talking about?” he says. “It seemed too rebellious. so, Haymitch has been coaching me through the last few days. So I didn’t make it worse,” I say. “Coaching you? But not me,” says Peeta. “He knew you were smart enough to get it right,” I say. “I didn’t know there was anything to get right,” says Peeta. “So, what you’re saying is, these last few days and then I guess... back in the arena … that was just some strategy you two worked out.” “No. I mean, I couldn’t even talk to him in the arena, could I?” I stammer. “But you knew what he wanted you to do, didn’t you?” says Peeta. I bite my lip. “Katniss?” He drops my hand and I take a step, as if to catch my balance. “It was all for the Games,” Peeta says. “How you acted.” (p. 372) Katniss is only pretending to be in love with Peeta because her mentor has told her to do so. In result of this act, they are able to get gifts from Haymitch and their sponsors.  Peeta is not is not aware that she is pretending until the day after the Games. “I remember everything about you,” says Peeta, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear. “You’re the one who wasn’t paying attention.” “I am now,” I say. “Well, I don’t have much competition here,” he says. I want to draw away, to close those shutters again, but I know I can’t. It’s as if I can hear Haymitch whispering in my ear, “Say it! Say it!” I swallow hard and get the words out. “You don’t have much competition anywhere.” And this time, it’s me who leans in. Our lips have just barely touched when the clunk outside makes us jump. My bow comes up, the arrow ready to fly, but there’s no other sound. Peeta peers through the rocks and then gives a whoop. Before I can stop him, he’s out in the rain, then handing something in to me. A silver parachute attached to a basket.” (p. 302)

As the book goes on, Peeta and Katniss overcome their fears. They no doubt have difficulties winning the victor crown of the Hunger Games, but they aren’t afraid to never give up. As they fight in games, the characters in this book face competition, take courage, and go through the difficulties of love. These qualities result in Katniss and Peeta never giving up and fighting till the end.