The Hunger Games


Chapter 1 to 5

Chapter One

Chapter one begins on the day of the reaping. Katniss leaves her home that morning and sneaks through the fence surrounding District 12. Though entering the woods outside of District 12 is prohibited, Katniss goes there to hunt and gather food and wood, and the reader realizes that she does so often. Chapter one reveals that she learned these skills from her father, and also that her father died five years before in a mine explosion. In the woods, Katniss meets up with her friend Gale. Gale is an older boy who is Katniss’s frequent hunting companion and best friend, though she denies that her feelings for Gale might go beyond friendship. While they share lunch, Gale suggests running away, but he also mentions their obligations. Like Katniss, his father died in the mine explosion, and he has been caring for his younger siblings since his father’s death. Katniss reflects on the fact that she does not want to have her own children because of the living conditions in District 12.

Much of chapter one’s purpose is to introduce the reader to Katniss. Katniss loves her family but is not a warm or fuzzy character. She has ambivalent feelings for her mother, who fell into a depression after the death of Katniss’s father. This left Katniss responsible for Prim. This responsibility was both a blessing and a curse for Katniss. On the one hand, she had to grow up early, taking on responsibilities that should have been saved for her adulthood. On the other hand, she developed a very intense love for her sister, which helps motivate her through difficult times.

The reader also begins to understand that Katniss is a survivor. District 12 is characterized as a place of tremendous poverty and oppression. It would be easy for Katniss to stop fighting and simply give up. However, she refuses to do so. Instead, she takes the skills that she learned from her father, including the ability to use a bow and arrow to hunt, and uses them to help provide for her family. She sneaks out into the woods, even though doing so is...

Sign up to continue reading Chapter 1 to 5 >

Essays About The Hunger Games