The best quotes from “The Hunger Games” about food highlight not only the book’s themes, but also in a broader sense help define the role of food in literature. Food is as important in books as it is in “real life” as some of the quotes from Suzanne Collins’ trilogy show.
Click through the thumbnails above to read the quotes from “The Hunger Games” about food. You’ll also find links for more background information about the book and the characters.
In my on-going exploration of the role of food in literature, I will be looking at the way authors use food to explain something about the culture from which their characters come. How food is portrayed in “The Hunger Games” shows the difference between the haves and have nots in the dystopian society, which in this case is America in the future. However, Collins doesn’t call it America; she named it Panem, which means “bread” in Latin. Each of “The Hunger Games” quotes demonstrates how life revolves around thoughts of food and survival for the people living in Panem.
You can get “The Hunger Games” on Amazon on Kindle and in book form. You can also buy “The Hunger Games” cookbook for recipes inspired by Suzanne Collins’ books.
All the additional information in the quotes section about “The Hunger Games” comes from the Wiki site.
Buffy Naillon is the author of the best selling young adult dystopian novel The Girl Who Fell Into the Sky, a story that has been called The Hunger Games meets The Da Vinci Code. She has worked in the media industry since 1999, contributing to USA Today Travel, The Seattle PI, Chron, and Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine. She also served a stint in radio for NPR News 91 and has worked as a filmmaker and videographer on projects like The Biggest Loser and Sergeant Paine.
Best quotes from ‘The Hunger Games’ about food
But there is always food if you know how to find it. My father knew and he taught me some before he was blown to bits in a mine explosion. Katniss Everdeen, p. 5
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District Twelve. Where you can starve to death in safety. Katniss Everdeen, p. 6
About District 12:
District 12 is the poorest district in the nation of Panem.
Located in the Appalachia and with a population of around 8,000 or more people, District 12’s main industry is coal mining. But after the second rebellion their main industry became medicine.
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Once it’s in the soup, I’ll call it beef. Greasy Sae, p. 11
About Greasy Sae:
Greasy Sae is a bony old woman who sells bowls of hot soup from a large kettle at The Hob in District 12. Katniss Everdeen and Gale Hawthorne traded with her often, and made a conscious effort to keep on good terms with her as she could consistently be counted on to buy wild dog as most of their other customers could afford to be more picky.
Greasy Sae seems to make just about anything edible. Katniss mentions a Winter specialty of Greasy Sae’s that includes mice meat, pig entrails, and tree bark. She also mentions in passing a wild dog and rhubarb stew. She calls any meat beef when it’s in her soup.
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I could be shot on a daily basis for hunting, but the appetites of those in charge protect me. Katniss Everdeen, p. 17
About the Peacekeepers:
The Peacekeepers comprise a gendarmerie which is controlled by the Capitol, and tasked with maintaining order throughout the nation of Panem. They essentially act as the government’s internal security force in the various districts, led by a “Head Peacekeeper” who is the commander of the local garrison. They ensure that the Capitol’s laws are obeyed, and punish those who break them. Peacekeepers serve as the Capitol’s main instrument of control and repression, by arresting political dissidents such as Cinna who, in Catching Fire they brutally attack and drag away before Katniss’ eyes. Peacekeepers also form the bulk of the Capitol’s army, serving as foot soldiers and piloting hovercrafts.
Best quotes from ‘The Hunger Games’ about food 5
Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor! Effie Trinket, p. 19
About the Hunger Games:
In the novel, The Hunger Games are an annual televised event where the ruthless Capitol randomly selects one boy and one girl, each between the ages of 12 and 18 from each of the twelve districts, pitting them against each other in a game of survival where they are forced to fight one another to the death. The victor then wins a new house for themselves and their families in their District, along with food, fame, and wealth.
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To this day, I can never shake the connection between this boy, Peeta Mellark, and the bread that gave me hope and the dandelion that reminded me that I was not doomed. Katniss Everdeen, p. 32
About Peeta Mellark — An Alternate Story
In order to get to the woods, I must take a shortcut through the town, it’s the quicker route. I run past the Mellark bakery, bringing back memories. The rainy day where their youngest son threw me burnt bread, I’ve loved him ever since. He took a beating for me, I don’t know how I couldn’t love him after that. I go to his house every day after I go hunting to give his family squirrels, in trade for bread. When I reach the fence, that is supposed to be electrecuted 24/7, but it never is. I climb under it, and then reach the tree in which I hide my bow and arrows.
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Cookies. A pin. I’m getting all kinds of gifts today. Katniss Everdeen, p. 38 (about the gifts she gets before going to the Hunger Games)
About the Reaping:
A reaping is an annual event that takes place in every district before each Hunger Games, where the tributes of the upcoming Games are chosen.
Each district’s escort randomly chooses the name of one male and one female tribute from two separate glass balls. Those picked are then the official tributes for the upcoming Games. To be qualified for a reaping, one must be twelve years old. Once of age, a potential-tribute’s name is entered into the reaping one time. The entries are cumulative, so when a possible tribute is thirteen, their name is added one more time. This continues until age 18, when a potential-tribute’s name is entered 7 times, or more if they apply for tesserae.
Best quotes from ‘The Hunger Games’ about food 8
At least you two have decent manners…the pair last year ate everything with their hands like a couple of savages. It completely upset my digestion. Effie Trinket, p. 44
About Effie Trinket:
Effie works as the escort for District 12, particularly to Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games trilogy. Her responsibilities include drawing the Hunger Games tributes’ names every year at reapings and subsequently escorting them to the Capitol via a train which she says travels at a speed of 200 mph. She is very well known for her Capitol accent, upbeat attitude for the Games, and the Capitol phrase, “May the odds be ever in your favor!”
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I make a point of eating the rest of my meal with my fingers. Then I wipe my hands on the tablecloth. Katniss Everdeen, p. 45
About Effie and Manners:
Effie takes the tributes on the train to transport them to the Capitol. She tells them about the pre-Games routine on the train and her plans. Effie eats dinner with Katniss and Peeta and is relieved when she saw that Katniss and Peeta had manners unlike the last pair of tributes. To toy with Effie, Katniss begins to eat like an animal by wiping her fingers with the tablecloth, upsetting Effie. Afterwards, she sits with Katniss and Peeta and watches the recap of the reapings in the other districts. Katniss and Peeta play and joke about Haymitch during the reaping which annoys Effie and she yells at them saying he is their lifeline; just after this statement Haymitch enters the room and vomits all over the floor. Effie is obviously disgusted and tells them “So laugh away!” before leaving the room.
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As long as you can find yourself, you’ll never starve. Mr. Everdeen, p. 52
About Katniss and her Father, who Named Her:
Katniss Everdeen was born on the 8th of May in District 12, 16 years prior to the 74th Hunger Games. Katniss was close to her father and spent time hunting with him in the woods. There, he taught her about hunting, nature, and how to use a bow and arrow.
Even Katniss’s name is a food, once again highlighting how important food is in the novel.