Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Summary and Analysis Part 3: Chapter 27
Katniss is unable to move and can only watch as the earth seems to explode. She wonders if the Gamemakers and Snow will let any of the remaining tributes survive. Suddenly, a hovercraft appears above Katniss and takes her from the arena. She realizes the Capitol has kept her alive to make her death as horrific and torturous as possible in front of all of Panem.
Plutarch is in the hovercraft with her, and she soon blacks out from the blood loss. The next time she wakes, she is lying on table, connected to tubes. She rips the tubes out but loses consciousness again before she sees who comes to fix the tubes. This occurs a couple more times before she fully wakes up.
She sees Beetee laying on a table near her. She decides she must kill Peeta before the Capitol can torture and kill him. She finds a syringe and walks down a narrow hallway. She stops at a door when she hears the voices of Plutarch, Finnick, and Haymitch on the other side. She opens the door and Haymitch instructs her to sit while he explains everything to her.
There was a plan to break them out of the arena once Snow announced the Quell. The victor tributes from 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 11 all had knowledge of the plan, which explains why it seemed everyone was working to protect her and Peeta.
Plutarch had been working undercover for years trying to overthrow the Capitol, and Beetee's idea to shoot the wire through the force field was always the plan. The bread the group had received as gifts from sponsors served as clues as to when the rescue was going to occur.
Katniss also discovers that Bonnie and Twill from District 8 were correct: There is a District 13. The hovercraft Katniss is on is headed there. Haymitch informs her that most of Panem is in rebellion against the Capitol.
She is angry with Haymitch for not cluing her in on the plan, and he says neither he nor Peeta knew about it because it was too risky. Plutarch tells her when he showed her his watch, he was tipping her off about the arena and trying to gain her trust.
Johanna wasn't attacking her but was instead cutting the tracker out of her arm and leading the Careers away from her. They tell her the others were willing to die for her because she is the mockingjay, and without her, there could be no revolution.
She asks where Peeta is, and Haymitch tells her the Capitol picked him, Johanna, and Enobaria up when the arena exploded. Angered by this news, Katniss lunges at Haymitch's face and scratches him with her fingernails.
She is placed back on her table and sedated again. When she wakes, Finnick tells her the Capitol will keep Peeta alive if it means that they can use him as bait. This doesn't comfort Katniss, and she wonders if she is slowly going crazy. She agrees with Finnick when he says he wishes everyone was dead because that would be better.
She is angry with Haymitch for not telling her of his plan and for letting Peeta go to the Capitol. She refuses food and water and stops speaking to anyone. The only thing calming her is the drugs they inject in her. She ignores when people talk to her until she hears Gale.
Gale has his arm in a sling, but other than some burns and bandages, he appears to be all right. He tells her that Prim and her mother are alive and safe. After the Games, the Capitol bombed them, and there is no more District 12.
Katniss is determined to kill Peeta to ensure he does not suffer for her rebellion. This further illustrates Katniss' resolve and determination. Even when she is dying and imprisoned and has every reason to give up, she is still unwavering in her plan to protect Peeta from the torturous methods of Snow.
However, as Katniss soon learns, nothing has been the way it seems. Suddenly, Katniss feels that she cannot trust anyone. She says that her friends have been even more secretive and plotting than her enemies. At least in the Games, Katniss says, she knew exactly what was going on. Now, she doesn't know how to feel. The immense trust she felt in the rebels and the cause seems to have vanished.
The theme of individual versus society that has been present throughout the entire novel reaches its climax in this chapter. Katniss has felt that she has always been able to trust Haymitch. But now, she feels abandoned and taken advantage of by him. She feels as if she is fighting everyone else alone, and is determined to die on that hovercraft because it would ruin Haymitch's plan and possibly save Peeta. She knows that without her, the rebels would have no one to guide or influence them.
Katniss' embodiment of the mockingjay and its symbolism carries this chapter. While Katniss is hurt by Haymitch, Plutarch, and the others' plan, she fully grasps the magnitude of her role in the rebellion. She understands that her only job was to be the mockingjay. She knows the importance of keeping her alive was only because she is the face of the rebellion. Everything — her friendship with Rue, the poisonous berries, the wedding dress that transformed into a mockingjay costume, the force field — has symbolized rebellion. Katniss herself has given the rebels the fire to fight back.
As Haymitch explains the complex rescue plan to Katniss, she realizes she was just another pawn in his own version of the Games. She is angry she wasn't informed of the plan and lashes out at him. Despite the fact that Haymitch has been working since the very beginning to save her, she cannot forgive him for letting the Capitol take Peeta alive.
The relationship motif is an important component of this chapter. It demonstrates that despite the fact that Haymitch has done everything to protect her, he has not saved Peeta. Her relationship with Peeta, whether the romance was genuine or feigned, is so meaningful to her that she attacks the people who are supposed to be her allies.
It is important to note that Katniss does not even ask about Prim, her mother, or Gale. Instead, she is concerned solely with Peeta. When she learns that he is being held prisoner by the Capitol, she is inconsolable. She loses the desire to speak, to eat, to exist. This is very significant because it shows that while Prim, her mother, and Gale are her family, her love for Peeta trumps all.
Her disconnect from reality and relationships is apparent in the way Katniss treats Finnick in this chapter. When she tells him that the Capitol will use Annie as bait for him, she doesn't care that her comments make him weep or that he tells her he wanted to go back and save Peeta. Katniss' coldness toward him, though arguably understandable, is shocking because of the bond that has formed between her and Finnick. He has been on her side since the very beginning and has clearly proven himself not only a worthy ally but a good friend to her and Peeta. Yet, Katniss doesn't care anymore about their friendship or anything else; her only concern is Peeta.
Only when Gale reaches out to her does Katniss remember Prim, her mother, and the others from District 12. He is the only one who can reach Katniss in her state of depression and isolation. This is important because it shows that there are still feelings between Gale and Katniss. His presence, though Katniss believed she would never see him again, is enough to stir Katniss from the depths of her numbness and back into a world where Prim and her mother matter.
Though Katniss is physically free from the reaches of Snow, she can never escape the horrors he has imprisoned her in. In addition to the Games, Snow's most torturous effects on Katniss were his threats against her loved ones. The end of the novel recalls the threats he made in Chapter 2 when he warned Katniss that a rebellion would destroy Panem, that it would burn strong enough to ruin everything. Gale's admission that District 12 has been obliterated proves that. However, Snow did not account for the people joining forces to rise against him and to build a new Panem. Just as Katniss' arrow through the force field caused an explosion in the arena, so will Panem explode with a fire and passion for change.