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What is the most important thing in life? What should one value above everything else? To Katniss Everdeen, the one thing that she values most is loyalty. This becomes a major theme in the novel, “Catching Fire”, by Suzanne Collins, the sequel to “The Hunger Games”. This specific series is fiction, and is set in a time of dystopia in the future. Once the main characters, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, return home from the 74th annual “hunger games” as victors, they learn that the need to go on a “Victor’s Tour” through the districts of Panem. As they tour through the districts, they see rebellion starting to form. To quell this stirring rebellion, President Snow puts a new twist on the upcoming games. The next set of participants must be chosen from previous winners of the hunger games. Being two of three victors from their district, Peeta and Katniss are obviously chosen to participate once again. Thrown back into the arena once more, Katniss and Peeta are forced to strengthen their loyalty towards each other, and always show loyalty to their families. The theme of the novel becomes obvious as the connection of loyalty between the characters.
Katniss is loyal to her family, a young girl who reminds her of her sister, and must choose it is worth being loyal to within the arena. Loyalty is also demonstrated when the gamemaker of the hunger games, Plutarch, saves Katniss and Peeta from the games. Though he is taking a long shot, and could be penalized for his actions, he takes a chance with her because he believes in her. Plutarch shows loyalty to Katniss by pulling her out of the games, and believing that she can make a difference. He knows she could possibly ending the hunger games as a whole. He hopes that she will be able to take down President Snow, as a result. Plutarch says, “We had to save you because you’re the mockingjay, Katniss. While you live, the revolution lives” (Collins, 365). Katniss inspires the people of the country, and gives them hope that one day things may be different. Plutarch sees this in Katniss, and helps her out of the arena to do what she is meant to do, even though he could be risking his life. Plutarch shows great loyalty to Katniss and his country. Katniss takes a little girl, Rue, under her wing. Rue is another participant in the hunger games, a young girl no older than eleven years old, who is scared. Katniss says, “But I feel as if I did know Rue, and she’ll always be with me. Everything beautiful brings her to mind. I see her in the yellow flowers that grow in the Meadow by my house. I see her in the Mockingjays that sing in the trees. But most of all, I see her in my sister, Prim” (Collins, 211). Katniss is so dedicated to taking care of Rue, and does not want to let anything happen to her at all.
Katniss treats Rue as if she is her little sister, Prim. Prim means a lot to Katniss and she would do anything to protect her from harm. She sees a lot of Prim in Rue, and therefore feels responsible and remains loyal to little Rue. For example, when Rue is in trouble, instead of throwing her under the bus and getting a step further to becoming the victor of the hunger games, Katniss protects her and keeps her safe. She does this even knowing that only one of them could come out of the arena alive. Finally, though loyalty usually comes along with a good connotation, sometimes it can be a person’s downfall in a situation like the hunger games. If a participant has friends in the same game that they are participating in, it can be a disadvantage to them. There is only one winner. “It’s stupid, I know, that his efforts make me so vexed. All I wanted was to keep Peeta alive, and I couldn’t and Finnick could, and I should be nothing but grateful. And I am. But I am also furious because it means that I will never stop owing Finnick Odair. Ever. So how can I kill him in his sleep?” (Collins, 147). In this particular situation, Katniss is so loyal to Peeta that she will do anything to keep him alive. Another hunger games participant, Finnick Odair, helps her by saving Peeta’s life when she was not able to do so. Katniss feels that she is indebted to Finnick, which puts her in a tough position when it comes time that she has to kill him. Loyalty, in this aspect, is choosing who to be loyal to, and when. In conclusion, loyalty is a common theme that is threaded throughout the entire series that addresses the hunger games.
When put in a situation like the hunger games, a person is forced to face the question: What is most important to you? Katniss and Peeta show loyalty to each other, Plutarch, the game maker, shows loyalty to Katniss, and Katniss remains loyal to a young contestant named Rue. Throughout the novel, the audience is able to see the ongoing theme of loyalty, weaved between each character.
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