by Suzanne Collins
Manipulation Quotes in Catching Fire
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
But that was before the Games. Before my fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark, announced he was madly in love with me. Our romance became a key strategy for our survival in the arena. Only it wasn't just a strategy for Peeta. I'm not sure what it was for me. [...] My chest tightens as I think about how, on the Victory Tour, Peeta and I will have to present ourselves as lovers again. (1.17)
In the arena, nothing is what it seems. Katniss and Peeta made it out alive by performing a love affair, which was "a key strategy for [their] survival." What makes things more complicated is that, for Peeta, "it wasn't just a strategy"; he's really in love with her. With this ambiguity and forced pretense of a romance, it becomes even harder for Katniss to know what's real and what's not.
It's just one more part of the lie the Capitol has concocted. When Peeta and I made it into the final eight in the Hunger Games, they sent reporters to do personal stories about us. When they asked about my friends, everyone directed them to Gale. But it wouldn't do, what with the romance I was playing out in the arena, to have my best friend be Gale. [...] So some genius made him my cousin. (1.37)
The Games have turned Katniss' life inside out. Everything has to fit neatly into a box and form a simple, exciting narrative for the media. In the arena, Katniss and Peeta's narrative became a romance against all odds, and nothing could be permitted to get in the way of that storyline. Somewhat ironically, the Capitol's media worked for Katniss by helping perpetuate the idea of that romance, which is what ended up keeping her alive.
It's true that Peeta froze me out after I confessed that my love for him during the Games was something of an act. But I don't hold that against him. In the arena, I'd played that romance angle for all it was worth. There had been times when I didn't honestly know how I felt about him. I still don't really. (4.31)
In the arena, Katniss fully intended to manipulate her audience in order to get sponsors and make it out alive. What she didn't realize was how much she was manipulating Peeta as well. She thought he was in on the trick, but in fact she was leading him on. Poor Peeta.