Description: I have to point out the description at the beginning of the chapter, which I love. Katniss tells of how she once fell out of a tree and the impact made it difficult to breathe, and that's how she felt hearing Prim's name called. It's a powerful way to describe how she felt there. In a situation so emotional, Collins takes the time to described the emotional through the physical but not in a stereotypical way, or in a short "I feel the wind being knocked out of me." It's a concrete description that Katniss can relate to as she's experienced before, and we can as well, making us feel it, too.
- Katniss: This chapter is crucial in developing Katniss's character. Not only do we see that she's brave and willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for those she loves, but we see her weakness as well, and that is her lack of showing any emotion and determination to not be seen as vulnerable. She doesn't care if people like her or she has friends, but she won't be viewed as weak. This makes sense when we see that she's seen what her mother did, and how they all almost died because of her weakness. We also see how some people, kind people, can wriggle their way into her and her sense of obligation to not have anyone she's in debt to.
- Haymitch: Yeah, he's drunk (what's new?) but in his contact with Katniss we can see past his gross state. By calling out the Capitol, establishes his true feelings that we see later on in the books.
- Peeta: It's made very clear here that he's a very kind person, and that is amplified when we see how he was abused as a child. This part of his life not only gains our sympathy, but also our admiration for showing kindness when he wasn't. He gave Katniss the bread although he no doubt knew what it would cost him, and didn't ask for anything in return or do it for show.
What we can learn in a nutshell: Use descriptions that the character and the audience can relate to. Dive into a character's past to explain why they are the way they are and make it relevant. And in any given situation think, how can this be worse? Not in a "I'll sic two dogs on them instead of one!" but a way that is more emotionally and psychologically draining on the character.