Anger in "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins

Actors' panel discussing the film "Catching Fire."
Courtesy of William Tung.
"Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins is the sequel to her novel "The Hunger Games." All of the same characters are present with a few more thrown in. The plot is rife with hardships, betrayals, secret plots and the effects of evil dictatorship. Naturally, there is a lot of anger bubbling beneath the surface and bursting through the seams of this novel.

The main character and narrator of "Catching Fire" and "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins is a teenage girl named Katniss Everdeen. Katniss has been dealt many hardships in her young life and faces many more in "Catching Fire." Her situation often leaves her angry and distrustful. In Catching Fire, Suzanne shows Katniss getting over anger she used to feel toward her mother. She also shows Katniss in many situations where her anger is misdirected or slow in coming.

Many of us, if we were put in Katniss Everdeen's shoes, would live out our lives perpetually angry. Her father has died as of result of the government's neglect. She is forced to break the law to feed her family. Then, she is thrown in an arena to fight other teenagers to the death. All of this is the fault of the government. Katniss is obviously resentful, but her anger towards the government itself is slow burning. She is outwardly angry with the frivolous people in the Capitol. She is angry with the game makers, but unlike her friend Gale, she does not show outright anger with the Capitol itself, but you see it brewing.

Suzanne Collins brings Katniss' romances to another level in "Catching Fire." Katniss is coming close to having to choose between the two young men who love her. Suzanne often describes Katniss as angry with Peeta Mellark, rarely with Gale. Peeta is a kind person, but every imagined slight provokes Katniss' anger, be it just a thought or a cruel action. Katniss' treatment of Peeta and her mentor, Haymitch are prime examples of her misguided anger.

Another source of anger in "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins worth noting is President Snow. President Snow is depicted as a shallow, devious, ruthless and angry person. He is deeply angry with Katniss for ruining his last Hunger Games and possibly, inadvertently, inciting a rebellion. Katniss did not mean to do it, but Snow's anger is irrational. He seems determined to make her life hell. He displays his anger at other characters in Catching Fire as well. He is the hand behind every execution, punishment and torture that is doled out. He is the driving force behind all of the anger in the novel.

Shelly Barclay

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