Katniss Everdeen volunteering in Prim’s place as tribute and deciding to fight against the injustice of the Games Katniss enters slowly, stunned, and then as the realisation of the words set in, she races towards the front of the stage to face the panel. And the girl tribute for District 12 is … Primrose Everdeen! Not Prim! Not my little duck! There must be some mistake! This can’t be happening! Stop! I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute in her place! I am Katniss and I wish to be Tribute for District 12. Don’t take Primrose!
Katniss takes a minute to compose herself before continuing. I promise I will do whatever I can to bring victory to this District and that I will be a true and brave Tribute if you allow me to stand in for Primrose. Moving towards the fence line where her friend Gale is standing. Gale– come and get her and take her away from here. Please – watch over my Mother and my sister – make sure they are safe and fed. I have to go! Turning on her heel, Katniss moves back to centre stage where she sees the crowd standing silently, with their three middle fingers on their left hand held to their lips.
Is this really true? I see you and I understand the message you are sending me with your fingers touching your lips and then held out to me. This is our District sign – this is the sign that mearns thanks and admiration. I will try my hardest to be true to our District and to undermine this cruel and humiliating festival that is the Hunger Games. Katniss’ movements start to waver as the seriousness of what she has done starts to really sink in. She is moved to a room in the court house behind the stage.
This room is where I finally await my fate and the reality of it is hitting me hard. The injustice of this reaping makes me physically ill. I want to throw up so bad! This room once seemed so big but now its walls are crushing me and closing in on me. I fear for my safety but I know I have made the right decision to stand in for Primrose. I feel so sad. Sad for my sister – tiny, sweet, delicate Prim – my “little duck”. I could never let her have to confront the degradation or torment of weeks of competition – she would not last a second.
The other tributes would see her as a frightened deer – easy prey – and crush her like a bug. Pacing up and down and stopping every now and again to face the audience and look at them with conviction. Me on the other hand? At least I can hunt and I am pretty good with a bow. I am a sthronger person much more capable of looking after myself and using my wits to protect me than Prim will ever be. She is a baby! It astounds me how the Capitol can continue to hold these barbaric games.
They have already taken our livelihoods and our freedom – what good could possibly come of the senseless slaughter of innocent children apart from the punishment for an uprising that happened so long ago, it is not in my memory. Why must the children be put to death? Moves to centre stage and sits The anguish I am feeling is rising up in my chest, threatening to flood over me and cause more misery and hopelessness than I am already experiencing. But I am sthronger than that! Stands again and moves stage left
I will overcome this sense of utter desolation and take on the challenge of sticking to the Capitol in any way I can. Being led into this room reminds me of what prison must be like for those who betray the Capitol and it hardens my resolve. I am determined more than ever to fight for my freedom and the freedom of all children of Panem. We are not lambs bred to be slaughtered to teach the rest of Panem a lesson about subservience and submission. We are human beings! But am I really that brave? I am sthronger in spirit than many my age and that has got me in to all sorts of trouble so far.
Maybe it will be to my advantage now. Katniss pauses and sits down pondering… Maybe this was meant to happen. Maybe it is my task to do what I can to rebel against the insane faulty logic that governs the hearts and minds of the Capitol. I was once so close to accepting Gale’s offer to run off into the woods, to hide away from the rest of the world and live in relative safety out of the prying eyes of the all controlling, all pervasive Capitol. Now I know why that was not my fate. Katniss moves side stage and holds her It could be done!
If I play cool and keep my head, I could turn this situation to my advantage. I could try to send a message to all in the Districts that Katniss Everdeen mearns business. She is not going to take this lying down. She is not going to give in to the brutality of the power-hungry Capitol, she is not a pawn to be played with like a rag doll. I must have some skills that I can use to survive this ordeal. The predators may have me in a corner and God knows, I am terrified, but a cornered animal is also a dangerous one. One wrong move, and it will destroy – it has the most to lose.
Katniss becomes immobilised by an overwhelming sense of inadequacy What am I talking about? I can’t possibly win. This competition is way beyond my abilities. I am reminded of Gale’s final words to me: “Katniss – it is just hunting! You’re the best hunter I know. You know how to kill – swiftly and painlessly. ” But I don’t want to kill children! It’s just too awful! Katniss runs to centre stage, resolute in her conviction again. But sometimes you have to do what you have to do to begin the long journey towards justice. I will do what I must to begin this war against the Hunger Games. Starting right now.