Most of the changes that have happened in Katniss's life since the first book can be found in chapter 1 of Catching Fire. At first glance, it sort of appears that not much has changed. Readers are introduced to Katniss hunting in the woods in the early morning. That is eerily similar to book one; however, by page two, readers are told a very specific difference between her hunting now as compared to before. She does not have to hunt in order to provide food for her family.
I've been in the woods three hours, but as I've made no real attempt at hunting, I have nothing to show for it. It doesn't matter for my mother and little sister, Prim, anymore. They can afford to buy butcher meat in town, although none of us likes it any better than fresh game.
Because of her victory in the Games, her family now lives in the Victor's Village and finances are not an issue. It is important to note that Katniss's financial prosperity is not entirely due to winning a huge prize for not dying in the Games. That is part of it, but Katniss must also play her part in the Capitol's continuing demands. The Victory Tour is a good example of this. Katniss must attend.
But the Victory Tour makes that impossible. Strategically placed almost midway between the annual Games, it is the Capitol's way of keeping the horror fresh and immediate. Not only are we in the districts forced to remember the iron grip of the Capitol's power each year, we are forced to celebrate it. And this year, I am one of the stars of the show. I will have to travel from district to district, to stand before the cheering crowds. . .
Part of her role is continuing to sell the idea that she is hopelessly in love with Peeta. Early in chapter 2, President Snow makes it clear that Katniss had better do well at keeping up the act.
My chest tightens as I think about how, on the Victory Tour, Peeta and I will have to present ourselves as lovers again.
As for Gale, he and Katniss have almost nothing to do with each other any more. Part of that is the Capitol's fault. The Capitol realized that having a close friendship with Gale would not help promote the image of Katniss being in love with Peeta. Gale is simply too good looking.
But it wouldn't do, what with the romance I was playing out in the arena, to have my best friend be Gale. He was too handsome, too male, and not the least bit willing to smile and play nice for the cameras. We do resemble each other, though, quite a bit. We have that Seam look. Dark straight hair, olive skin, gray eyes. So some genius made him my cousin.
Gale has also gone to work in the mines to support his family. He and Katniss no longer hunt together in the mornings. They only see each other on Sundays, and Katniss admits that their previous relationship has changed. There is a distance between them now.