Catching Fire

Catching Fire Literary Elements


Young Adult; Dystopian

Setting and Context

The novel is set in various locations in the fictional country of Panem.

Narrator and Point of View

Catching Fire is told in the first-person from the perspective of Katniss Everdeen, a 17-year-old girl living in District 12 of Panem.

Tone and Mood

Somber, gritty, thrilling, suspenseful, and exhilarating.

Protagonist and Antagonist

The protagonist of Catching Fire is Katniss Everdeen, our narrator. The antagonist is President Snow, the leader of the Capitol and of Panem as a whole.

Major Conflict

The major conflict of Catching Fire is Katniss’s struggle to protect her loved ones from the wrath of the Capitol and President Snow.


The climax of the novel is when Katniss blows up the Games arena with her arrow.


A major moment of foreshadowing happens with Cinna says to Katniss, “Don’t worry. I always channel my emotions into my work. That way I don’t hurt anyone but myself” (Collins 205). The reader remembers these words later on when Cinna is attacked because of the politically charged costumes he made for Katniss.


Prior to the opening ceremony, Finnick and Katniss have a brief, charged conversation. At one point Katniss says to him, “Everybody seems to know my secrets before I know them myself” (Collins 360). This is a huge understatement, as Finnick is a major player in a secret plot hatched by Plutarch and Haymitch to protect Katniss at all costs.


In Catching Fire, the Hunger Games trilogy gains a new central character: Finnick Odair. In Finnick’s characterization, many allusions are made to the Greek gods, particularly to Poseidon. For example, he has unearthly good looks that force Katniss to admit he is “one of the most stunning, sensuous people on the planet” (Collins 358). Most importantly, his ease and comfort in the water–and with a trident–are clear nods to the god of water.


See section titled “Imagery.”


When he visits Katniss at her house in the Victor’s Village of District 12, President Snow begins their conversation by saying they should agree not to lie to one another. This is a paradoxical statement for Snow to make, considering that he is constantly lying to the inhabitants of Panem about the realities of their lives.


During his Hunger Games, Haymitch is allies with the other District 12 tribute, Maysilee. The two tributes end their alliance right before Maysilee is killed by a flock of arena birds. There’s nothing Haymitch can do to save her, but he stays and holds her hand as she dies. This moment parallels Rue’s death in the first book, when Katniss stays and sings to the younger girl as she dies.

Metonymy and Synecdoche