Name: __________________________________ Date: _____________ Group: ___________
Food symbolizes wealth, plenty, and comfort in The Hunger Games; it is the dividing
line between the Haves and the Have Nots. (That is, the rich and the poor.)
– In the Capitol, food – decadent, sumptuous, and delicious food – is simply
• people in the Capitol are consumers – they thoughtlessly and
wastefully consume tons of food, just like they carelessly
consume the lives of the people in the districts.
The constant availability of food is mind-boggling to someone like
• What must it be like, I wonder, to live in a world where food
appears at the press of a button? How would I spend the
hours I now commit to combing the woods for sustenance if
it were so easy to come by? (5.27)
• As Katniss tells us here, food is quite scarce in the poorer districts of the country
where starvation is a serious threat. Katniss's entire existence, in fact, is
dedicated to gathering the daily food needed by her family. What would her life
be like, she wonders, if her family had enough food to eat? What would it mean if
Katniss's daily life weren't a battle against hunger?
DIRECTIONS: In the following exercises, write all the food items Katniss and other characters
Then research (using the internet, books, periodicals) for references in literature and if that
particular food item has any symbolic importance.
Third, make a connection to your findings with the novel. Why is it symbolic? Keep in mind
that most meals will only have one or two food items with symbolic significance. The first one
has been done for you. (Use additional paper if you need more room to write.)
Food/Meal Symbolism of Food Relation to Novel
Day of the EXAMP L E • Goats represent sacrifice. • Goat cheese: All children 12-18 are
Reaping: • Basil can mean both hatred eligible for “sacrifice” to the Capitol.
and best wishes. Katniss will sacrifice herself for her
• Goat cheese sister.
Katniss & with basil leaf • Blackberries represent bad • Basil: Both Katniss & Gale loathe the
• Blackberries Capitol (hatred represented by the
• Bakery bread • Bread is symbolic of life basil); both hope that their names
Day (sustenance) and is a aren’t called. It could also
symbol of metamorphosis. foreshadow Katniss having to go to
place, and her family and friends
wishing her the best.
• Blackberries: These represent the
bad omen that Prim’s name will be
• Bread: Bread/food is important for
survival and we learn how precious &
rare bakery bread is for Seam
residents; Katniss will have to
undergo a transformation, as well.
Katniss & Lunch:
Prim & Dinner:
Day - on the
train to the
Katniss & Breakfast:
Day - on the
train to the
Often in literature the lack of a certain food or drink is significant. See if you can find symbolism
in the foods Katniss didnʼt eat. Research the items below to see what they represent. Then
apply that meaning to the text. Were any of the items foreshadowing an event or cluing in the
1. Cookies from Peetaʼs father, the baker
Katniss throws these out the train window without eating any (page 49). What do the
cookies, and the fact she does not consume them, symbolize?