What Is a Man Vs. Self Conflict in the Book "Catching Fire"?

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"Catching Fire" is the second book in "The Hunger Games" series by Suzanne Collins. The book is primarily focused on a man vs. man conflict, particularly that of the tributes battling each other in the games and that of the people fighting against the oppressive Panem government. However, the series' protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, also struggles with a variety of internal conflicts, or man vs. self conflict. In "Catching Fire," she struggles with her role in the rebellion and her own personal feelings of guilt.

1 Love Triangle

Throughout "Catching Fire," Katniss struggles with her growing feelings for Peeta and her more-established feelings for her best friend, Gale. She is not certain of her feelings for Peeta. She struggles with whether she has actual affection for him, or if she feels loyal to him because of what they went through together as tributes in the Hunger Games. By the end of the novel, she accepts that she has real feelings for Peeta, while also accepting that they do not diminish her feelings for Gale.

2 Guilt and Grief

When she fought in the Hunger Games, Katniss befriended another young tribute named Rue, who is ultimately killed. Katniss struggles with guilt because she was not able to save Rue. At the start of "Catching Fire," Katniss has to tour the districts to express her loyalty to the Capitol. Throughout this tour, she struggles with her grief and her feelings of guilt, particularly when she visits Rue's district. Her guilt overcomes her, and she apologizes to the district for the loss. This small action turns her internal conflict into an external one: It sparks the ire of Capitol leaders and fans the flames of the districts that are ready to rebel.

3 New Identity

After the Hunger Games, Katniss has a new life as a victor. She lives in Victor's Village and is able to see her family and friends only on brief stops between required appearances on her tour. She struggles with her new identity since she is isolated from those who matter to her and is surrounded by people who do not reflect her values. She continues to struggle with guilt, not just for the loss of Rue, but also over the things that she had to do to survive the games and the people that she had to kill.

4 Hesitant Rebellion

At the start of the series, Katniss habitually breaks the rules of the district by hunting for needed food for her family. She is hesitant to openly rebel against the Capitol by running away to District 13 with Gale and her family because she is afraid of the consequences her actions could have for the people she loves the most. She continues to battle this internal conflict throughout "Catching Fire," until she finally joins the rebellion at the end of the novel.

Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has worked as an ESL teacher, a freshman composition teacher and an education reporter, writing for regional newspapers and online publications. She has written about parenting for Pampers and other websites. She has a Master's degree in English and creative writing.