The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games Metaphors and Similes

Primrose (Metaphor)

From the first page of the novel we learn about Katniss’s love for her little sister. Rather than tell us explicitly, Katniss relates her feelings by using a metaphor to describe her sister. She compares Primrose to the actual primrose flower and says that her sister is as fresh and lovely as the flower. In this simple yet loving comparison, we get a small sense of the tight bond between Katniss and her sister.

Venia, Octavia, and Flavius (Metaphor)

Before Katniss meets Cinna, her personal stylist for the Games, she is plucked and manicured by a 3-person prep team composed of Capitol citizens. Named Venia, Octavia, and Flavius, they are brightly, ornately, and ostentatiously clothed and made up. This, paired with their high-pitched voices and quick movements, leads Katniss to liken them to a flock of “oddly colored birds” that are pecking around her.

Rue (Metaphor)

When Katniss first sees Rue during the younger girl’s Reaping, she is reminded of Primrose because Rue has the same small stature. Later on during the tribute training sessions Katniss sees Rue again and makes a metaphor between Rue and a bird that’s about to take flight. During the games, Rue’s ability to flitter through the treetops like an avian creature references this metaphor.

The Career Pack (Simile)

Composed primarily of tributes from Districts 1 and 2, the Career Pack is so named because their members have made the Hunger Games into a career of sorts. In their districts they have trained since birth for the Games, while the tributes of the other Districts struggled to acquire basic human necessities like food and shelter. In the Games, the Careers demonstrate a pack-like, hive-mind behavior, moving as one to eliminate the other tributes. When they corner Katniss after the forest fire, she thinks, “they are a closing in, just like a pack of wild dogs” (Collins 318). Given the way the Careers operate, this simile is an apt one.

The End of the Games (Simile)

After Katniss and Peeta win the Games and are swooped up by the Gamemaker’s helicopter, the Capitol’s doctors immediately begin to work on Peeta because he is in dire need of medical attention. Katniss has to be forced to surrender Peeta’s unconscious body, because in her mind the doctors are another threat trying to kill him. Despite winning, she has not yet mentally left the Games. In the end she is physically separated from Peeta by a glass wall and can only look on as he struggles for his life. Katniss says that this moment of not knowing whether Peeta will make it through is “like being home again, when they bring in the hopelessly mangled person from the mine” (Collins 605). She is talking about when members of District 12 come to her mother for medical attention. Before, Katniss could never understand why the family members of the sick person stayed and watched their dying loved one. Now, with Peeta in the same situation, she understands that it is the power of love that compels them to do this.