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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Warfare

The Hunger Games are like a mini-war, or a war substitute. They're held every year in Panem to prevent a real war and to keep the citizens pacified. For the people selected to fight in the Games, t...

Admiration

The people of Panem admire the tributes who win the Hunger Games. The tributes, called victors, become national celebrities. It seems like the more vicious they are in the arena, the more celebrate...

Loyalty

Katniss values loyalty almost as much as trust. In real life the two usually go together, but in the arena you often have to be loyal to someone you don't trust, and sometimes you have to trust som...

Manipulation

Trust is a valuable and rare commodity in the Hunger Games, where hardly anyone can be trusted. By the end of Catching Fire, most of the people Katniss thought she could trust have revealed that th...

Love

What could possibly be more dramatic than carrying on a very public love affair? How about carrying on a public love affair with someone you're not sure you love, while secretly being locked in an...

Courage

Nearly all the characters in Catching Fire are brave. Katniss and Peeta are ready to die for each other and are always acting rashly to defend their values. Mags and Wiress give up their lives to p...

Appearances

The Games make celebrities of the tributes and fetishize them. That means they have to look their "best," which in Katniss' case means looking like anybody but herself. This was particularly true i...

Competition

It's pretty cruel to call a competition that's really a fight to the death "the Games," isn't it? But that's how it goes in Panem. In Catching Fire the Games are ratcheted up a notch because it's t...
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