Many cultures have a trickster in their myths, a being who behaves differently than expected and who does his own thing for his own reasons. Native Americans have Coyote, the Norse have Loki, the Ancient Greeks had Prometheus, and we Americans have Bugs Bunny, Bree Rabbit, and now, Mitchael Abernathy. Haymitch Abernathy is a true trickster. He goes through the stages of becoming a trickster by being a sell-out with the role of a mentor that the capital thrust upon him after surviving the Hunger Games. Then he becomes a drop-out by turning to the bottle but then emerges as a trickster upon finding his moment to tear down the dictator that the Capital had become. “Just remember, Katniss, you want the audience to like you.” Haymitch gave Katniss this one last piece of advice, on page 134, before her interview with Caesar Flickerman. Unlike Katniss, Haymitch is very good at faking it. He almost has an air of just not caring, a neutralism that has possibly saved his life on many accounts. When the train stopped to refuel on the way home after the games Haymitch interrupts Katniss and Peeta's awkward conversation, “Great job, you two. Just keep it up in the district until the cameras are gone. We should be ok.” Then he turns and walks away to leave Katniss to explain to an already upset Peeta what he means.
Haymitch is a sellout, because he didn't want to die. The capital sent representatives to District Twelve to take four kids to die as martyrs in the Hunger Games, so that the Capital could show their iron grip on the districts and insure their continued blind subservience for another year. In the game, it came down to Haymitch and a professional from district one, Haymitch won by pure accident. But President Snow was furious with that fact and sent soldiers to District Twelve to show his unhappiness to the people by killing Haymitch's family and girlfriend. Katniss and Peeta consider that with all of Haymitch's faults and surly disposition, he somehow won the Hunger Games, then they both come to the same conclusion... “He outsmarted the others,” says Peeta ( 359-360). Now, after surviving the hell of the games, the nightmares, and feelings of self hate, Haymitch is forced to mentor both the boys and girls by himself for the Hunger Games every year. As he is the only District Twelve winner.
Haymitch tells Katniss in Catching Fire, “Nobody ever wins the Hunger Games. Period. There are survivors. There's no winners.” Katniss begins to think, “ Maybe he [Haymitch] wasn't always a drunk. Maybe, in the beginning, he tried to help the tributes. But then it got unbearable. It must be hell to mentor two kids and then watch them die. Year after year after year” (360). Being alone and having to see all the carnage and then return home to District Twelve and see the faces of all the friends and...