The last eighth of the Hunger Games is the end. I had a hard time coming up with thoughts for the last section since it pretty much does what the ending needs to do. And saying “oh this part was great”, while true, doesn’t do so much for a study on structure, hmm?
The first read-through, I remember feeling like the space after the Game ends to the final TV interview were a bit long for what they did, but on second-through I realize I was wrong (just like I was wrong about the second and third 1/8 sections leading up to the start of the Games). The first time I was still turning pages, dreading to know if Peeta was okay, if Katniss was going to be in trouble for her actions, if something terrible was going to happen. Which means, of course, that the author was doing everything just right, since I couldn’t contain my anxiety.
In truth it goes by pretty fast. Sequel-type summaries of a few days worth of healing and recruperating. Even conversations with Haymitch and the TV interview pass by in a blur of words, all things considered.
But the ending. Ah, it’s over. Katniss survives, she saves Peeta. The win isn’t entirely sweet, either, and it shouldn’t be. We wouldn’t buy it if it was, not with everything that has happened.
A few more thoughts on the overall story…
There’s hardly any repetition in the deaths. With 22 people dying in the arena, a weaker writer might have suffered from conceptual repetition. But not in the Hunger Games. Some of the bit players get knocked out right away, off screen, even, but from then on out anyone who has a name gets their own, unique death that’s memorable. We saw it all, and it all served an important function in the story.
Just about every 1/8-section we had a turning point and then a quiet re-group moment, but those weren’t the only turning points or the only quiet re-group moments. But in almost every quiet moment we were given a piece of information that was going to toy with our emotions for the next scene – Katniss showing us how hard it was to trust Gale, initially, then being told that Peeta doesn’t want to train with her. Katniss talking about her sister right before Rue dies. Every bit of backstory Katniss gives us comes into play in the Arena, in some shape or form. She even thinks about Gale right before she has to flirt with Peeta, realizing she can’t even think about both boys at the same time! She never tells us why, she can’t even admit to herself, but we know the truth.
And that wraps up my first series. Hope you enjoyed the ride. 🙂