"Prim, let go," I say harshly, because this is upsetting me and I don't want to cry. When they televise the replay of the reapings tonight, everyone will make note of my tears, and I'll be marked as an easy target. A weakling. I will give no one that satisfaction. (2.11)
With the cameras are trained on her every motion, Katniss must mask her feelings and project a façade of cool, calm, and collectedness.
Peeta Mellark, on the other hand, has obviously been crying and interestingly enough does not seem to be trying to cover it up. I immediately wonder if this will be his strategy in the Games. To appear weak and frightened, to reassure the other tributes that he is no competition at all, and then come out fighting. (3.47)
What is real and what is not real? Already Katniss is beginning to question the motives of those around her: in this instance, Peeta. Could his emotional response be simply a strategy?
I put the green outfit back on since it's not really dirty, just slightly crumpled from spending the night on the floor. My fingers trace the circle around the little gold mockingjay and I think of the woods, and of my father, and of my mother and Prim waking up, having to get on with things. I slept in the elaborate braided hair my mother did for that reaping and it doesn't look too bad, so I just leave it up. It doesn't matter. We can't be far from the Capitol now. And once we reach the city, my stylist will dictate my look for the opening ceremonies tonight anyway. I just hope I get one who doesn't think nudity is the last word in fashion. (4.32)
Katniss enters the Games with symbols of her district: her braided hair and the mockingjay pin. How will her looks be changed by the stylists in the Capitol?
A few hours later, I am dressed in what will either be the most sensational or the deadliest costume in the opening ceremonies. I'm in a simple black unitard that covers me from ankle to neck. Shiny leather boots lace up to my knees. But it's the fluttering cape made of streams of orange, yellow, and red and the matching headpiece that define this costume. Cinna plans to light them on fire just before our chariot rolls into the streets. (5.38)
Cinna puts together a fabulous costume for the opening ceremonies – it was a flaming headpiece! How does the crowd react? Why is it so important for Katniss to create such a sensation?
"I'm trying to figure out what to do with you," he says. "How we're going to present you. Are you going to be charming? Aloof? Fierce? So far, you're shining like a star. You volunteered to save your sister. Cinna made you look unforgettable. You've got the top training score. People are intrigued, but no one knows who you are. The impression you make tomorrow will decide exactly what I can get you in terms of sponsors," says Haymitch. (9.14)
Haymitch is someone who realizes the importance of a public persona. As he coaches Katniss for her interview, though, he can't decide how to market her to the public. What would you tell Katniss?
"He made you look desirable! And let's face it, you can use all the help you can get in that department. You were about as romantic as dirt until he said he wanted you. Now they all do. You're all they're talking about. The star-crossed lovers from District Twelve!" says Haymitch. (10.22)
Peeta confessed his crush on Katniss during his interview. Why is it so beneficial for Katniss to appear to be desired?
The star-crossed lovers…Peeta must have been playing that angle all along. Why else would the Gamemakers have made this unprecedented change in the rules? For two tributes to have a shot at winning, our "romance" must be so popular with the audience that condemning it would jeopardize the success of the Games. No thanks to me. All I've done is managed not to kill Peeta. But whatever he's done in the arena, he must have the audience convinced it was to keep me alive. (19.3)
Peeta and Katniss take on the parts of tragic lovers in order to gain favor with the audience. At least, that's what Katniss thinks. We know that Peeta really does love Katniss. But why does he make his crush public? Is he looking out for himself or for Katniss?
I startle when I catch someone staring at me from only a few inches away and then realize it's my own face reflecting back in the glass. Wild eyes, hollow cheeks, my hair in a tangled mat. Rabid. Feral. Mad. No wonder everyone is keeping a safe distance from me. (25.11)
As the Games conclude, Katniss looks like a wild animal. But has she managed to hang on to her humanity?
When I manage to pull my eyes away from the flickering fabric, I'm in for something of a shock. My hair's loose, held back by a simple hairband. The makeup rounds and fills out the sharp angels of my face. A clear polish coats my nails. The sleeveless dress is gathered at my ribs, not my waist, largely eliminating any help the padding would have given m figure. The hem falls just to my knees. Without heels, you can see my true stature. I look, very simply, like a girl. A young one. Fourteen at the most. Innocent. Harmless. Yes, it is shocking that Cinna has pulled this off when you remember I've just won the Games. (26.44)
Cinna has purposely dressed Katniss as a simple young girl for her final televised interview. Why might he need to make her look innocent in front of the cameras?
With the Capitol growing father way every second, I begin to think of home. Of Prim and my mother. Of Gale. I excuse myself to change out of my dress and into a plain shirt and pants. As I slowly, thoroughly wash the makeup from my face and put my hair in its braid, I begin transforming back into myself. Katniss Everdeen. A girl who lives in the Seam. Hunts in the woods. Trades in the Hob. I stare in the mirror as I try to remember who I am and who I am not. By the time I join the others, the pressure of Peeta's arm around my shoulders feels alien. (27.58)
Katniss is dressed as her old self again, and so she starts to feel like herself again. Can clothes really change the way we see ourselves?