The Hunger Games – Peeta’s burnt bread

‘It was the boy. In his arms, he carried two large loaves of bread that must have fallen in the fire because the crusts were scorched black… He threw a loaf of bread in my direction.’ The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

When baker’s son Peeta Mellark throws a starving Katniss Everdeen two burnt loaves of bread instead of tossing them to the pigs as his mother commands, he saves her life. It would be the first of many life-saving risks Peeta takes for Katniss, and a moment of enormous literal and symbolic importance.

Books have been written on the importance of bread in The Hunger Games trilogy, with the simple food appearing again and again throughout the books.

But none is more powerful or has a greater impact than these first two loaves.

‘By the time I reached home, the loaves had cooled somewhat, but the insides were still warm. When I dropped them on the table, Prim’s hands reached to tear off a chunk, but I made her sit, forced my mother to join us at the table, and poured warm tea. I scraped off the black stuff and sliced the bread. We ate an entire loaf, slice by slice. It was good hearty bread, filled with raisons and nuts.’ The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

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