Chapter 5 Summary
Katniss has entered the Capitol and is being attended to by her stylists in the Remake Center. As they rip hair from her body, Katniss reminds herself of Haymitch’s advice to cooperate with the stylists no matter what. Still, she feels uncomfortable standing naked in front of these stylists, although the discomfort is mitigated by how bizarre the stylists seem to her. One has dyed her skin a pale green, and they all speak with Capitol affectations. By the time they finish, they declare that Kat looks nearly human. The initial team of stylists leaves and Kat is left alone with Cinna. Unlike the other stylists, Cinna adopts a more minimalist approach; she wears a simple black shirt and lightly applied golden eyeliner.
When they are alone, Cinna has food brought to them. Kat marvels again at the decadence of the Capitol. Kat has spent most of her life hunting in the woods to feed her family, but these Capitol stylists simply have food brought to them. Kat finds herself questioning:
What do they do all day...besides decorating their bodies and waiting around for a new shipment of tributes to roll in and die for their entertainment?
Kat’s assessment paints the Capitol as jaded and heartless, but Cinna is different. She immediately suggests that Kat must find the Capitol despicable.
Cinna’s job is to provide Kat with a dress to wear during the Hunger Games parade. The tradition is to dress the district tributes in clothes that reflect the industry of their people. Kat reflects that, for District 12, this has often meant covering naked tributes in coal dust. However, Cinna’s idea is to focus on fire. Kat and Peeta are both given a black unitard to wear under a cape that is lit on fire.
Kat and Peeta are to parade through the Capitol in a chariot, and Cinna suggests that they hold hands throughout the process. Kat obliges, if only out of fear that she will fall over. Kat and Peeta are the last tributes to parade. Unlike most years, they steal the show with their amazing costumes. Kat considers how the people see her and worship her already and reflects that she may well attract sponsors. In fact, she may even stand a chance of doing alright in the games. Kat blows kisses to her fans and becomes “the girl on fire.”
After the parade ends, Katniss and Peeta recognize that they were the highlight. Peeta suggests that people must have seen how scared he looked during the parade, but Kat reassures him that he looked great. Peeta, in return, suggests that they only would have thought that because they were so busy looking at Katniss. Kat reflects that Peeta is again trying to disarm her with his charm and decides to respond in kind. She kisses him on the cheek.