Remember that readalong I was hosting? Well, this is my first progress report on chapters 1 to 6. If you’re interested in finding out what I thought about them, keep reading.
Warning: This is your friendly, neighbourhood, spoiler alert. As in major spoilers. You have been warned.
The first thing I noticed was the present tense. I am so not a big fan of present tense usage in books because to me it never really works. Of course, The Hunger Games is probably one of the few books that manages to do it and work it. Honestly, after that first paragraph I didn’t notice it anymore, instead I was too busy, experiencing everything along with Katniss.
In any case, this is the chapter that introduces us to Katniss. We learn that she loves her sister more than anything else, that she’s a no-nonsense person, and that she was forced to grow up at a very young age. We learn about District 12 and the people it houses. About the lack of constant electricity, and the overall feeling of despair. We also learn about the secrecy that’s vital for survival and we can feel the fear surrounding the idea of the Capitol. We also see how Katniss touches the lives of different people, to survive mostly, but how she’s made an impression on them.
What struck me most teh reaping system. Gale, Katniss’ friend, described it as a way to keep inhabitant of each district divided, the poor against the rich, and he was right. When a poor child can have their name entered twenty times but the rich child has their name entered only six times it would bring conflict when the prize is the Hunger Games, a dance with death.
Primose Everdeen is Katniss’ younger sister and at twelve years old her name has only been entered once. But the unthinkable happens and her name is chosen. Katniss does what no one else would have done for their family, she volunteers. She volunteers for death. The reaction of District 12 gave me shivers. They all agreed to stand in solidarity, to stand behind Katniss and her decision and it was heart warming and heart breaking.
We even see how smart she is, how her mind works from the very beginning to up her chances of survival. Because there’s no denying that Katniss is a survivor. Not after chapter 2. But Peeta complicates things. How is she to really consider the idea of killing the boy who helped her survive? The boy who gave her hope? Such a dilemma.
We later see how much of an impact Katniss has made on people as they visit her in her last hour in District 12. And then we get our first glimpse of how downtrodden District 12 is as Katniss is surrounded by such luxury and waste for the first time. Katniss later proves herself to be a bit of the rebel, eating with her hands ‘like a savage’ to get back at Effie Trinket for her comment about the tributes from the year before. Because really, when you’re dirt poor and half starved, table manners are the first thing on your mind.
We get more of a glimpse of how instrumental Peeta was to Katniss’ survival all those years ago. The bread he gave her may have fed her family for only two nights but it gave her hope and she began to remember the things her father taught her, tips on survival. We also see how she became the person she is now. A girl, built to survive. Really, this is the biggest thing I’ve noticed about her. She thinks everything through so completely, it’s amazing. Every action she makes is so carefully calculated. Yes, she can be rash but it works for her.
We also realise that maybe Haymitch could help Katniss and Peeta. Maybe he’s not a complete drunkard after all right?
Gotta say I love Cinna. He’s so calm and efficient, like a stable rock in a turulent river. I also have to say that this book has a beautiful array of characters. Cinna is the first person from the Capitol who earns Katniss’ respect. He’s not silly, he doesn’t have his head in the clouds. He’s painfully real and observant and he seems to understand.
Katniss has started to become used to her luxurious surroundings. But more importantly she recognises an Avox. This is probably one of the most important of the earliest chapters. Avoxes are traitors to the Capitol and are punished by having their tongues removed and being placed into servitude. The girl Katniss recognises needed her help to survive and Katniss did not act. The guilt Katniss feels, it just makes us connect with her more. She’s not perfect, she is only human, and we love her for it.
What did you guys think of the first six chapters? Feel free to structure your posts however you like. You can link up your posts below.
Have a good day guys!