Catching Fire: Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension Questions

Below are the reading comprehension questions and vocabulary for each chapter of Catching Fire.  I'll be adding more chapters as we read, so make sure you check back periodically.

Chapter 1

  1. What is the political purpose behind the victory tour?
  2. How has Katniss’s life in district 12 changed since the Hunger Games?
  3. Who comes to visit Katniss at her home?  What is strange about this person?

loathe (4)
claustrophobic (5)
retrospect (7)
exudes (13)
itinerary (17)

Chapter 2

  1. How has Katniss’s “stunt” in the arena affected the people of Panem?
  2. What does President Snow want Katniss to do to subdue the districts? Do you think this plan will work?

audacity (18)
everyday (25)
dynamic (28)

Chapter 3

  1. What is a Quarter Quell? Look up “quell” in a dictionary; how is it an appropriate title for this event?
  2. Why must Katniss marry Peeta?

capricious (35)
mollify (36)
provocative (38)

Chapter 4

  1. What does Peeta offer to the families of Thresh and Rue? Why does he make this offer? What might be the consequences of his offer?
  2. How do the people of district 11 respond to Katniss’s speech? How is their response an “act of dissent” (62)?

sodden (45)
duplicitous (51)
verandah (56)

Chapter 5

  1. How is district 11 different from district 12? Why is 11 more prone to political unrest than 12?
  2. Describe the attitude of dissent that pervades districts 8, 4, and 3.  What does Katniss see in these districts that convinces her of the inefficacy of pretending to be in love with Peeta? (See pages 71-72.)
  3. Explain the metaphor, “the rolling boil of a pot about to run over,” on page 71.

ascend (64)
billows (67)
dissent (71)
besotted (73)

Chapter 6

  1. Describe the party at President Snow’s house.  Why do Peeta and Katniss find the party abhorrent?
  2. How does Peeta’s disgust at the party affect his view of the capitol and his efforts to “subdue” the citizens of Panem?
  3. Why has Katniss’s mockingjay pin become so popular in the capitol? Do you think it might bear significance beyond fashion?

abhorrent (78)
subdue (81)
clandestine (83)

Chapter 7

  1. How might Katniss be responsible for the uprising in district 8? Can you think of any other contributing factors?
  2. What plan does Katniss propose to Gale? Why does he ultimately reject the idea?
  3. What is Gale being punished for at the end of the chapter? What do you think is the real reason for his public whipping?

deft (95)
rueful (103)

Chapter 8

  1. What does Cray’s being replaced by the new Head Peacekeeper, Romulus Thread, mean for district 12? Why do you think Cray was replaced?
  2. What does Katniss realize about herself at the end of the chapter?  How might her realization affect the actions she will take in the future?
  3. Explain Katniss’s utterance: “Life in district 12 isn’t really so different from life in the arena.  At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead.  The hard thing is finding the courage to do it” (118).  How might this sentiment be applicable outside of the book?

assailant (106)
tinctures (111)
nettle (116)

Chapter 9

  1. How does Katniss justify endangering Prim to participate in the rebellion?
  2. What is the “inherent flaw” in Katniss’s plan to start an uprising in district 12 (138)?
  3.  Describe the living conditions in district 12 now that Romulus is Head Peacekeeper.
  4. What does Katniss find in the cabin by the lake?

catalyst (124)
tepid (125)
blatantly (131)
pariah (132)

Chapter 10

  1. What is district 8’s industry? How was this industry advantageous to the uprising there?
  2. Why are Bonnie and Twill headed for district 13?
  3. How is the mockingjay important to the resistance?  Think about both its literal and its symbolic significance.

tremulous (139)
fluke (141)
translucent (142)
appropriated (145)

Chapter 11

  1. How does Katniss account for her lateness to the Peacekeepers whom she finds waiting at her house?  Why were they there in the first place?
  2. What is the family book?
  3. What is Katniss looking for on TV? Does she find it?

apprehend (151)
contrite (156)
hassock (158)
irrefutable (160)
odious (162)

Chapter 12

  1. How does Katniss surmise that districts 4, 3, and 8 are rebelling?  Which other districts are rebelling?
  2. What are the rules of the upcoming District Quell?  How will this affect Katniss?

histrionics (164)
confidant (167)
culminating (170)

Chapter 13

  1. What motive might the Capitol have had to fix (or “rig”) the rules for the Quarter Quell reaping?  Do you think that this is what happened?
  2. What is Katniss’s plan for the upcoming Hunger Games?  What is Peeta’s plan?

brusquely (178)
erratic (181)
copious (184)

Chapter 14

  1. How was Haymitch’s victory in the 50th Quarter Quell similar to Katniss and Peeta’s victory in the last Hunger Games?

devoid (191)
onerour (196)

Chapter 15

  1. How might Katniss’s “glowing ember” costume reflect her emerging new identity (206-207)?
  2. Describe Finnick.  Where is he from?  What does he look like?  What are his talents?  What kind of person is he?
  3. How do the other tributes react to Katniss at the opening ceremonies?  Why do they react this way?

saunter (210)
fixated (213)
camaraderie (214)

Chapter 16

  1. Why does Katniss blame herself for the fact that Darius is now an Avox?
  2. Describe Mags, Wiress and Beetee.  Why does Katniss want to form an alliance with them?
  3. What does Katniss do to “impress” the game-makers this time around?  Why does she do it?
  4. Who was Seneca Crane?

grotesque (220)
spiel (225)
initiated (233)

Chapter 17

  1. What did Peeta do in his session with the judges?  What was his motivation?
  2. Why does Katniss believe that she would be “more valuable dead” than alive (244)?  How does this revelation represent a turning point for Katniss?
  3. What do the other victors discuss in their interview speeches?  How are the speeches an acts of dissent?
  4. Describe the dress that Katniss wears for her interview.

shroud (248)
ruminate (251)

Chapter 18

  1. Explain the metaphor on page 256 (“Maybe this year ... detonate it”).  What has Peeta done to “light the fire”?
  2. Interpret Haymitch’s final advice to Katniss, “ ‘You must remember who the real enemy is’ “ (260).  Who do you think Haymitch means by “the real enemy”?
  3. What happens to Cinna at the end of the chapter?  Why?

tentative (253)
residual (256)

Chapter 19

  1. With whom do Peeta and Katniss form an alliance?
  2. Why do so many of the tributes choose to fight at the cornucopia, even after their show of unity at the interviews the night before?

unhinge (267)
awl (271)
trek (278)

Chapter 20

  1. How does Peeta’s near-death experience change the way Katniss views Finnick?
  2. Describe the layout of the arena.
  3. Explain how a spile works.  Why is this tool essential for survival in this particular arena?

stealthily (288)
plaited (289)
leery (290)
divulge (293)
elusive (296)

Chapter 21

  1. Why does Katniss slow down to help Peeta escape the fog, rather than flee on her own?
  2. What do you think is Mags’s reason for sacrificing herself in the fog?
  3. Why do you think the “morphling” from District 6 sacrifices herself to save Peeta?

purge (304)
ominous (308)
trajectory (309)

Chapter 22

  1. Whom do Katniss, Peeta, and Finnick encounter on the beach?
  2. Why has Johanna been traveling with Beetee and Wiress?
  3. What does Katniss discover about the arena?  How could this knowledge be useful in the future?

slake (314)
quicken (322)

Chapter 23

  1. What do the other tributes seem to be doing for Peeta?  Why?  Give some examples to support your answer.

sober (335)

Chapter 24

  1. What happens at “4 o’clock” in the arena?  How is this attack more horrible than the rest?
  2. What “weapon” does Peeta have around his neck?  How does he intend to use it against Katniss?  What is its effect on Katniss?

waver (346)
configuration (349)

Chapter 25

  1. Describe Beetee’s plan to kill Brutus and Enobaria.
  2. Explain Katniss’s comment, “I look coolly into the blue eyes of the person who is now my greatest opponent” (365-366).  How is Peeta now Katniss’s “greatest opponent”?

adversaries (357)
proximity (364)
circuitous (364)

Chapter 26

  1. What does Johanna do to Katniss?  Why do you think Johanna is so interested in Katniss’s arm?
  2. Describe Katniss’s actions at the end of the chapter.  What “enemy” is she fighting?

arbitrary (368)
festooned (375)

Chapter 27

  1. Summarize Haymitch’s explanation of the plan to free the victors from the Quell (385).  Were you able to predict any of it?  Why has Katniss not been privy to the plan?
  2. Why has everyone been protecting Katniss?  What is her role in the rebellion?
  3. What “deathblow” is delivered in the last sentence?

careen (384)
indiscretion (386)
subterfuge (387)