Hunger Games (Book 1)

Hey everyone. Is anyone interested in trying to find a storyform for the first Hunger Games book? I finally read it last week. I know that there was an earlier attempt at analyzing the movie but the conversation kind of went sideways and didn’t reach any conclusions. I suspect the book and the movie have the same storyform, but I was thinking we could focus on the book.

Any takers?

I’ll start.

MC: Katniss Everdeen (that one was easy…)


I’m in. I’ll have to dig the book out and reread it, so I’ll need a day or two.

Also, I can’t stand the name “tracker jackers” or whatever they’re called, so i just say “yellow jackets” in my head. Just so you know for when I accidentally call them the wrong name later. Haha.


I’m in

Let’s see…

IC: Peeta


@jassnip What do you think Katniss’ resolve is? Is she Changed or Steadfast?

For those wanting to play along, is the film sufficient, or is the novel a different story?

I think they’re probably the same. It’s been a while since I saw the movie. The biggest thing I noticed was that the book is told in the first person, so there are lot of things that are illustrated in the movie that are only implied in the book.


Let me clarify…you’re asking because of the berry scene at the end of the games, right?

Yes – but also in general.

My initial thought was that Peeta was the IC as well. He doesn’t seem changed though–his perspective seems the same. That would mean that Katniss changed, but I couldn’t describe that either.

So … I’m actually not sure that Peeta is the IC. I thought it would be clearer if we could nail down if Katniss changed and how – if that makes sense.


Potential change arc for Katniss.

Katniss only has a tight group at the beginning. Basically, Prim and Gale.

Through her team (Peeta, Cinna, Haymatch, Effie, Rue) she changes to depend on others. Without their collective influence she would have only depended on herself and her own skills, and she would have died in the arena.

Does that work for you?


Hmmm… maybe?

I can’t think of many examples of this though. Yes, she has to rely on her team. But she’s kind of forced to from almost the beginning, isn’t she?

Effie: I don’t see her influence really
Cinna: he’s definitely in her corner, but how does this change her?
Haymatch: She comes around on him a bit – but again, this feels like she’s forced to accept his help early on, and she does whatever she can to get sponsors through him from the beginning.
Rue: I feel like Rue is more of a reminder of Prim – if anything, Rue highlights how she’s not changing – she still wants to protect the innocent.

Peeta maybe. You could certainly make a case that he challenges her cynicism. But that feels more like RS growth to me. Has her worldview changed?

Thinking back, my impression is actually the opposite – compared to her, Rue and Peeta were weak. Wouldn’t she have had a better shot if she left them on their own? Or chosen to ally with the careers instead?

Effie starts the team building by telling Peeta and Katniss that once they are in the arena Haymitch is all they’ve got, which influences them to try and pull Haymitch’s head out of his ass. Effie is also the one that brings the “presentation” aspect of the games. She gives to the District 12 team despite not being treated very nice/respectfully by Katniss in particular. Effie talks them up to people she knows in the Capitol trying to win them sponsors; she even says she’ll get Haymitch to the sponsor tables at gun point.

Peeta’s kindness is a trigger for Katniss, she even says that it’s a danger to her. She tries repeatedly with all of the team to not connect. Whenever Peeta shows kindness she tries to convince herself that it’s an act to make her vulnerable. Katniss, even admits at one point that she’s only a survivor because someone (Peeta) helped her.

Cinna tells Katniss he chose her, chose District 12, implying she impressed him by volunteering. She also recognizes that he’s set her up to survive by making her the girl on fire. Cinna tells her to address her answers for the interview to him, to think of him as a friend. There’s Cinna getting the pin for her.

Haymitch pushes them to be together and amiable in public. Haymitch tries to help her strategize but she’s so resentful, she can’t help her hostility.

Katniss spends so much time trying to convince herself that she’s alone, that Peeta is always trying to play her, that he’s her “bitter adversary”

There’s Rue helping her when she’s tracker-jackered. Then their alliance.

Time after time her team helps her, even when she would have declined.until the scene with the berries, then she knows it wasn’t fake, that only by standing together --even if they die-- can they give a big eff u to the Capitol.

1 Like

I’ll admit to motivated reasoning here because she feels Steadfast to me.

Isn’t this just Effie’s job? And I don’t see how it actually pushes Katniss to anything that she wouldn’t have to do anyway.

This part – yes. I could see that. His devotion to her certainly throws her off.

So does Rue’s decision to help her influence Katniss to change somehow? Wouldn’t Katniss have wanted to protect the innocent girl no matter what? To me this is evidence of her steadfastness – Rue is like Prim, who she wants to protect.

Is it true that that’s the first time that she knows that Peeta’s feelings aren’t fake? I have the feeling that she gets it before.

Obviously she goes through a lot and grows. But does she have a real paradigm change? At the beginning of the story, she’s defying the Capital (hunting in the woods) and sacrificing herself for the innocent. At the end of the story, she’s defying the Capital and sacrificing herself for the innocent.

So here’s my current thinking on Change vs. Steadfast and the IC.

The whole structure of the games is an attempt humiliate the districts, set them against each other, and force the tributes to become killers.

So it’s the Capital (or its representatives) that’s pushing influence Katniss to change – to become a monster or be killed. Haymich is the example of what this change looks like – by winning, he has become an alcoholic, broken man.

By threatening to commit suicide with Peeta, Katniss finds a way to preserve her dignity and remain uncorrupted (Steadfast).

Katniss’s promise to Prim is that she’ll do everything in her power to come home.

Time after time she tries and distances herself from Peeta but her moment of change comes on page 343 of trade paperback where she says “Because if he dies, I’ll never go home, not really.” If she were steadfast, she’d have killed him and gone home.

Just going home to Prim and her mom and Gale is not enough. On a page or two before that when they are running for the Cornucopia she realizes she doesn’t have her team with her that Peeta’s fallen behind.

Her thought process right before they’re going to eat the berries isn’t about not being a monster, it’s calculated gambit to make the Gamekeepers capitulate by subverting the purpose of the games. No victor, means every death was pointless. It would make them martyrs, a powderkeg that Snow does NOT want to deal with.

1 Like

My point is, assuming she wasn’t a ruthless killer at the beginning of the story (I don’t think she was), if she had killed Peeta it would have destroyed her. She would have become Haymich. THAT would have been a change (a tragic one).

Yes, but is this something that really changed for her, or was it always true? In spite of her promise to Prim she was never a career. She was never going to be someone who could kill without being changed.

One flaw with my theory is if Katniss is Steadfast, does the Capital change? Does the last minute “no no, there’s been another rule change” count as a (forced) shift in perspective on their part?

I’d like to hear what others think about this. I don’t really see the “becoming a team player” argument for change, but I could entertain an argument that Peeta influences her to become vulnerable; she can’t believe his sincerity at first, but eventually does. But I don’t know–that really feels like RS to me. The end stuff where she throws herself into his arms, etc. – that seems less like an MC paradigm shift than the growth of their relationship.


Just saw this topic. Very interesting discussion!

I definitely see the RS with Katniss and Peeta’s relationship, and the Capital as the IC.

I think that the Capital’s Changed Resolve occurs when they declare both Katniss and Peeta the winners, instead of requiring there to be only one winner as they did from the beginning. Katniss’s Steadfast refusal to murder leads to both Peeta and her threatening to consume the poisonous berries, directly resulting in the Capital’s Change.


I was thinking about this more. I think you can see the changed resolve more clearly if you think the Capital more broadly – including the gamemakers and Snow, but also all of the shallow residents who take such pleasure in the games. It’s these people who are cheering when Peeta and Katniss come out together – a change from what they had simply accepted before.

This is probably obvious to everyone, but something that I hadn’t quite grasped before is that structure of having just one winner is meant to mimic the “one winner” in the old war e.g. the capital. This – more than embarrassment – is the reason that having two tributes win is such a symbolic threat to them.


Really cool stuff @Lakis and @RailwayAdventurer. The idea of Capital as IC is definitely making some sense.

Sorry I haven’t been able to participate much as I don’t remember the book or movie well enough to do it justice. (Only read and watched once.)

Important question, would you say the Capital is the Antaongist and IC (so a Villain story)? Or do you think the Capital could be the IC, with only Snow and some of his minions taking on the Antagonist role?

Earlier when you said Capital as IC, I was thinking it would have to be Villain. But I’m not sure that the shallow residents would count as Antagonist.


That’s a good question. I agree that if you have a collective IC it doesn’t make sense that they would all be the antagonist. But I’m not even totally sure who the antagonist is. Is it possible that Katniss is actually the antagonist? I had this thought when I was thinking about the Goal. But I’m getting ahead of myself.