Summary and Analysis Part 1: Chapter 9



Katniss works to overcome her feelings of betrayal, deciding that in order to feel betrayed she would have had to trust Peeta in the first place, which she never did. She questions this, though, wondering if maybe she did trust the part of him that gave her bread as a child, the Peeta who covered for her with the Avox girl and steadied her on the chariot. It's time, though, she decides, that they stop pretending to be friends since they will have to try to kill one another in just two days, after the Games start.

Katniss and Peeta spend the day preparing separately for their interviews the following evening. Effie teaches Katniss how to act like a lady: how to sit, how to walk, how to smile and gesture and get the audience to like her. When Effie instructs Katniss to act as if she is answering questions among friends, Katniss says they're not her friends, these people who are betting on how long she'll survive. Effie reminds her, though, that her survival depends on her ability to pretend.

Katniss struggles even more with Haymitch, who coaches her on content. He tries to find a particular angle for her — aloof, charming, fierce — but none of them work. Haymitch grows aggravated with her and tells her that she has no personality, that she's too hostile and that he's not able to find out anything about her. Katniss doesn't want the audience to know things about her private life, though, since they've taken so much from her already. She decides she isn't anyone at all and returns to her room where she breaks plates and makes a mess in her anger. The girl Avox comes to clean the room and Katniss apologizes, both for the mess and for not helping her in the woods. Together they clean, and then the Avox tucks Katniss into bed.

Before the interview, after Katniss is dressed in a beautiful gown and is again "the girl on fire," Cinna tells her that she should try to be herself and pretend that she's answering questions asked directly by him, a friend. Before they take the stage, Haymitch instructs Peeta and Katniss to act as if they are still a happy pair, which confuses Katniss because she thought that part of the act was over.

Caesar Flickerman, the interviewer, does his best to make each tribute look his or her best. Every tribute has a particular angle: likeable, sexy, a ruthless killing machine. Katniss is nervous, but ends up charming the audience, drawing lots of laughs from the crowd, including the Gamemakers. She even stands and twirls in her gown and giggles, something she hardly ever does. Peeta goes last and does well himself. Caesar asks him about a girlfriend back home and Peeta says he doesn't have one and that the girl that he likes didn't notice him until the reaping. Caesar tells Peeta that if he wins, the girl will be sure to fall in love with him. Winning won't help him, though, Peeta says, because the girl he loves came here with him.

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