11.03.2011

Things That Make Me Go Hmmm... The Feast Backpacks


This post does contain spoilers to the later chapters of the novel, so please wait to read if you haven't finished through chapter 25.
For the second installment of "Things that make me go hmmm..." I wanted to bring up the feast at the Cornucopia in chapter 21 of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

In that chapter, Katniss goes to the feast to get the small pack that contains the life-saving medicine for Peeta. She sees the two large black packs, medium-sized green pack, and the one meant for her. We later learn in chapter 25 that the District 2 pack probably contained body armor to protect from Katniss' arrows (and other weapons). Although, since Thresh took both packs, it could have been in either one. And we already know what was inside the tiny District 12 pack. So, what did Foxface's (District 5) and Thresh's (District 11) contain?

We know that Thresh's was a large one just like the District 2's. Did it also contain body armor to protect Thresh from Cato and Clove's knives and swords (Clove was still alive when the packs appeared near the Cornucopia)? He didn't need food (Katniss remarks he looked better fed than when the Games started) and he wasn't injured.
Katniss also comments that perhaps one of the tributes needs a blanket. Did Thresh's contain a blanket, or was that what Foxface's contained? When Foxface dies, her body was so thin, so that could be an indication that she didn't get food in her pack. But, it also indicates that it might be the one thing she needed the most. But if it was, then why was she stealing food from Peeta? 
We never learn what those two packs contained, so I asked my students what they thought. There's no wrong answers, of course. (Unless we find out in the movie what they contain, but that's not until March.) So here are some of their replies:

Thresh's District 11 Pack: battle armor just like Cato's, a weapon to protect himself from Cato, food, a battle ax, vanishing cream so no one could find him (it obviously didn't work), something to keep him warm, a tent, more rocks (his favorite weapon), a weapon and armor (because he killed Clove with a rock, he obviously didn't have one or get one at the Cornucopia), and my favorite answer: his pack had the armor and Cato's had food because he and Clove probably didn't know how to feed themselves (then Cato stole the pack of armor after he killed Thresh).

Foxface's District 5 Pack: a new pair of light sneakers so she can continue to sneak around unheard, sleeping bag to keep warm, a weapon to defend herself, night-vision glasses so she could steal food at night, "slippers of silence," food, and my favorite answer: a heat-reflecting sleeping bag and warm gloves and hat to keep from dying from hypothermia.

So what do YOU think was in the other packs at the feast? 

Take it one step further: why do you think the two larger packs are black, the medium green, and the smallest orange? Is there any significance to the colors of the packs? Why not have them all the same color since they are already labeled with their district numbers? Certainly the Capitol would be able to find packs all the same color, right? What do you think?
 

16 comments:

  1. Interesting. My post is serving only as a test - as I plan to share this with my students tomorrow.

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  2. Great! It's always fun to have these discussions. Sometimes our students have the most insightful responses. :)

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  3. The colors may resemble items that are in the bag. The black bags are for the bigger guys, Thresh & Cato, they may have the same thing that they need in the bags. The green bag is Foxface's bag and I believe hers is different to what she is in need of, probably food since she always steals others. The orange bag is obviously Katniss' and she needed medicine for Peeta which was in there. The capitol used some crazy strategies to trick us, like they do to everyone.

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    1. I agree that the colours colour resemble what is in the bags. But I think that Foxface's bag may contain camouflage and that is why its green. Since Foxface was thin so that kind of shows that there wasn't food in her pack. Also Katniss mentions early on in the games that food goes so quickly (the author may be giving a tiny hint or foreshadowing on what the bags may contain?), so it wouldn't help her in the long run like the armour or Peeta's medicine.

      Do you think Collins will slowly reveal what the bags contained like J.K Rowling did with Harry Potter World Facts? Or do you think she will leave it to the readers imagination?

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  4. I think they gave thresh the armor but Cato stole the armor. Rue had the blanket. What is in the blue backpack?

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  5. pack1: Probably better armor and weapons, maybe even weapon poison for the swords and arrows and such.

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  6. i think there was some feasts in some but in others there was some other sort of random things like armor or weapons or food or a GPS or map. there might have been hints of how to win.

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  7. in the bag for district eleven had another body armor and then a weapon. The foxface girl got a blanker and a sleeping bag and more then likely something for her feat.

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  8. The colors of the bags probably resemble the level of importance or how bad it is needed to that district. Meaning whatever was in the bigger black bags was more than likely the least important compared to the little orange bag. Considering we know that Katniss needed that medicine in order to save Peeta.

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  9. In district two's and district eleven's bag i think there's body armour. In district fives bag i think theres helpful gadgets, maybe food and stuff.

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  10. What I think were in the big bags were weapons and supplies for the big guys to live. In the small bags were medicine and night vision glasses sleeping bag food, and a weapon.

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  11. I agree that Clove and Cato's bag probably contained food, as the people watching the games have learned that the careers lack in the knowledge of providing for themselves. And then Thresh had body armour and weapons since he had no use for food since he already has a massive supply. In Foxface's bag I would also assume that there is no food in there, because I think the gamemakers would think that she is capable of finding food for herself, and instead her biggest struggle would be keeping warm. I assume that she probably had a supply of fresh water otherwise she wouldn't have gone so far in the games, but if she was also steeling that then I think there would be iodine (if thats what its called) to help her with collecting fresh water.

    As for the colours of the bags there could be about a million reasons the author chose to do this. My strongest point on district 12 bag being orange is that it is kind of a slap in the face to Katniss. That the gamemakers chose orange because it is a colour sometimes assocaited with fire. And also the bag she got from the cornucopia was orange and she found this hard to camouflage. The gamemakers may think at this point in the game Katniss has the upper hand in that she has Peeta (who is getting her sponsors) and she can hunt.

    I think Foxfaces bag is green because her biggest advantage is how sly and sneeky she is, so she would need a green bag to help her camouflage herself in the woods. I'm not to sure with this point but its the strongest one I had.

    As for the District 2 and District 11's bag being black I have no imagination for it. It could possibly be that this is a more personal colour in that it shows there personality.

    Do we know if its the gamemakers of the mentors that choose whats in the pack? I would assume it would be the gamemakers as the chose to have the feast and they would want things in there that would bring entertainment.

    I'm 15 years old if this helps your teaching. I'm not sure how it would, but you may judge the answers on peoples age so I thought I should add it in :)

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  12. The color of the bag is related to the item inside. Medicine is always shown using bright reds and oranges and this could be the case here as well. Foxface's was green which makes me think she got something to do with survivability. The other two packs are both black because they contain armor/weapons.

    Katniss obviously got medicine inside.

    Foxface didn't get food because she had been stealing from peeta and they commented how thin she was. At this point she needs a way to win, but something that isn't a weapon (or her pack would be black). So I think she may have gotten something to help her play to her strengths and to allow her to begin to make offensive attacks. Possibly some type of really good camouflage so she could sneak up on people?

    Cato's pack held the body armor because he needed a way to win against Katniss's arrows. He already had weapons so that wouldn't have benefitted him.

    Thresh's pack held a weapon because he also needed a way to fight back offensively. Thresh already had the defense covered with his advantage in the wheat fields. Plus the only weapon he had at this point was the rock.

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  13. I think Foxface's bag could have maybe been a way to track people, this way it would allow her to continue to steal and play to her abilities, otherwise how would she have known where Katniss and Peeta were

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