We are in chapter 5 from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Cinna arrives in the room, Katniss is surprised by how natural he looks. Most stylists in the Capitol dye their hair, skin, or opt for plastic surgery that makes them unrecognizable. The only thing that seems altered on him is the metallic gold eyeliner that he wears. Cinna compliments Katniss’s hairstyle as he takes her in. He reveals that he actually volunteered to take District 12—usually a stylist’s last choice—but he doesn’t say why. They have a short conversation about Prim and he is ready to make her look stunning.
” 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 defines this costume. Cinna plans to light them on fire just before our chariot rolls into the streets. ” (p. 38)
Cinna puts together a fabulous costume for the opening ceremonies with “real” flames. Cinna knows this will drag everybody’s attention on her. It is important the crowd’s reactions and Katniss causing a great sensation.“I want the audience to recognize you when you’re in the arena,” says Cinna dreamily. “Katniss, the girl who was on fire.” (p.40) Cinna makes a spectacular fiery outfit for her debut in the opening ceremonies. The question I made in my head once I read this, is: How is the public image that Cinna is crafting for Katniss different from who she really is?
Chapter 6 ends when Peeta and Katniss return indoors and say goodnight. When Katniss enters the room she wants to apologize to the red-haired girl, but she remembers she isn’t allowed to talk to an Avox. The girl avoids Katniss’s eyes, and Katniss feels ashamed that she didn’t try to help the girl in the woods.
“What’s an Avox?” I ask stupidly.
“Someone who committed a crime. They cut her tongue so she can’t speak,” says Haymitch. “She’s probably a traitor of some sort. Not likely you’d know her.” (p. 23-24)
Traitors to the government have their tongues cut out and become servants called Avoxes.
Katniss feels like a hypocrite because she just sat there and watched as the girl was captured, much like the Capitol audience will sit and watch her suffer in the Hunger Games in a couple of days.