The next day, Katniss' prep team is very emotional as they get her ready for the opening ceremony. She is annoyed by their tears and sadness as she is the one about to die, not them. She is relieved when Cinna acts calmly and composed with her as he dresses her for the ceremonies.
Katniss' attire for the ceremony seems like a simple black jumpsuit. However, Cinna pushes a small button on her wrist and the jumpsuit begins to flicker like an ember from a fire. After the demonstration, she goes down to wait for the ceremony to start.
Peeta and Haymitch haven't arrived yet. Finnick Odair, from District 4, makes his way over to her and strikes up a conversation. Finnick was a victor in the Games 10 years ago, when he was only 14. Since then, he has had many admirers in the Capitol and has earned a reputation for being a sensuous but flighty lover.
He tells Katniss he doesn't deal with money anymore, and that his admirers pay him in secrets for his company. He asks her if she has any secrets for him, but Peeta comes over and Finnick leaves. The opening ceremony begins, and they switch on their matching jumpsuits. The crowd goes insane with hysteria when they see Katniss and Peeta, just as it did for them during last year's ceremony.
After the ceremony, Haymitch introduces them to his friends Chaff and Seeder, the tributes from District 11. Seeder hugs Katniss and tells her Thresh's and Rue's families are still alive. The Capitol's attendants direct all of the Victors toward the elevators, and Johanna Mason from District 7 rides up with them. Agitated by her costume, she takes it off and rides up completely naked.
This makes Katniss uncomfortable, but Peeta tells her that she and Finnick and the other victors are acting so crazy because she is so pure and innocent. He explains that they are teasing her and don't mean any true harm. This angers Katniss, and she becomes upset with Peeta. However, she doesn't have much time to think about it because when they arrive at their apartment, they see that their new servant is Darius.
Katniss' jumpsuit for the opening ceremony is important because Cinna has designed it to be just like a flame. This is appropriate because Katniss has been described as the girl on fire, and her spirit has been the spark that has set the rebellions in motion. This subtle yet clear demonstration of her nickname is no accident. Her costume is more so Cinna's commentary on the rebellions than it is a representation of the coal industry in District 12.
In this chapter, Finnick Odair is introduced, and Katniss clearly views him as a strong competitor but also extremely shallow and self-centered. Katniss is unfazed by his flirting, and admits that while he is attractive, she has never been drawn to him. At first, Finnick appears to be another shallow puppet of the Capitol's.
She says that she's never been attracted to him and that is possibly because she has found him too easy to lose. This recalls the theme of trust in that Katniss doesn't want to believe Finnick is someone to rely on. Finnick, with his good looks and loyal following, is too much a product of the Capitol for Katniss to believe in. Therefore, she doesn't react warmly to him.
However, he tells Katniss that his admirers pay for his company with secrets, suggesting a depth to his character that perhaps not many people get to see. Finnick's flirting with Katniss is harmless enough; however, their interaction in this chapter foreshadows more to come.
There are similarities between this year's Quell and last year's Games, such as the love the crowd shows for Peeta and Katniss, and the beauty of their costumes. However, Katniss can't help but think about how much has changed in a year.
Last year, she was convinced Peeta was going to kill her and she would have no one she could trust in the Games. But this year, she is willing to sacrifice her own life in order to save Peeta because she cares for him so much. This is an example of how much Katniss has grown and matured in one year, though she's arguably done so because the Capitol has given her no choice.
In one way, Katniss has been forced to grow up because of the Games, the Capitol, and Snow's threats. However, she has managed to hang on to her virtue and morality. She has not allowed her victory in the Games to taint her morality or good nature. Though the Capitol encourages instant gratification, selfish acts, and shallow behavior, Katniss has maintained her kind heart. In a way, this will be the one thing the Capitol will never be allowed to steal or shape. Her determination to save Peeta, even though it means never seeing her loved ones again, is the only thing the Capitol cannot imprison in their world of manipulation and control.