Sunday, July 12, 2009

Literary Elements: Irony, Epiphany, and Character Motivation

Choose any of the following literary elements to comment on or discuss...

Irony is an outcome that is the opposite of what is expected. What are examples of irony in this novel? Consider the communication between Rue and Katniss and the Capitol's genetically mutated birds. What else is ironic about the setting or conflicts in this novel?

Epiphany is a character's sudden realization of a truth in a work of literature. This novel has many important epiphanies that change the course of the plot. What do you think is the most important epiphany in this novel, and why? In what ways does it change the course of the novel?

Examine the motivations of characters in the novel. Is Peeta a "good" character who truly has feelings for Katniss, or did he manipulate the Capitol media to save himself? In analyzing Peeta's character, think of the role of Haymitch. Does he support Peeta more than Katniss? Why? And what is the origin of Peeta's "teamwork"? Support your stance with details from the novel.


  1. I believe Peeta is a good character,but I do feel he manipulated the capitol by coming up with the idea of he and Katniss being a team(item). I honestly believe he has feelings for Katniss which was part of his motivation for teaming up, but the biggest motivation for partnering up was he knew he had a better chance of survival being with Katniss. He commented that she had a good chance to win before the arrived at the capitol. I believe Haymitch supports Peeta more because he is male,although he repects Katniss' prowess as a survivalist. He views her as somewhat surly and ingrateful. I don't believe it was Haymitch who came up with the idea of being a team. I believe it was Peeta'a as I mentioned above.

  2. I do think that Peeta was inherently good. He risked his life by allowing Katniss to escape after she was stung by the bees. Furthermore, he did not seek Katniss out to partner up with; she sought him out after he was injured.

  3. Probably the most vital epiphany for Katniss came on page 236 when Rue died and she suddenly understood what Peeta meant about being “more than just a piece in their Games.” This is when she truly decides to fight against the Capitol. I think this revelation is what will drive her through the other two novels as well. It is also when she discovers that she and Peeta have a similar goal, so they are truly connected.

    I think that Peeta is most definitely good and has pure intentions. I think he shared those feelings with Haymitch (who I think is a rebel at heart) and Haymitch came up with the plan to team them, because he knew Kat could survive and he knew that their partnership was the “ticket” to sponsorship. He knows that sponsorship is the only way anyone can survive. Haymitch looks crooked at the outset, but he really is a “good guy.”

  4. Great posts. It is hard to think of manipulation as a positive contribution to any situation, but sometimes it just has to be done. I do agree that both Haymitch and Peeta are good men and have honest actions. I would like to be suprised in the novels though. Maybe Katniss will end up turning to the dark side and supporting the Capitol Her celebrity fame may end up going straight to her head. Another reality star gone wrong.

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  6. Haymitch was once a person to be proud of but his memories of the hunger games made him agonize over the loss of human life. His debauchery is the result of those memories. I don't think he would be a lush if didn't have those memories in his dreams every night. He did clean up his act when Kat and Peeta needed him. He maybe felt that two living through one ordeal would be a better ending to the story.