Chapter 6 and 7 by Erin
Effie continues to escort Kat and Peeta around, which is good since Haymitch hasn’t been seen since the train station. Effie has been talking them up around the Capital, which hasn’t been hard since they were such a big hit at the opening ceremonies. Effie shows them around the training facilities and their quarters. Kat’s room is bigger than her entire house in District 12. The gadgets in the room are amazing-showers that dispense soaps and oils, hair dryers that style at the same time, and food dispensers that will make whatever you say.
Haymitch, Effie, Cinna and Portia join Peeta and Kat for dinner, since dinner is more about strategy than eating. Kat tries wine, and enjoys course after course of food. After dinner a red haired girl brings in a cake and lights it on fire, and when Kat turns to ask her what is making it burn, she realizes she recognizes her. Everyone grows silent at her statement, and the girl shakes her head a runs away. Effie asks her how she could know an Avox; and Avox is a traitor who had their tongue cut out. But Kat knows that she knows the girl, but Peeta rescues her by saying she look exactly like Delly Cartwright back home. The table relaxes but Kat knows he lied to help-Delly Cartwright “is a pasty-faced, lumpy girl with yellowish hair who looks about as much like our server as a beetle does a butterfly.” After dinner they watch a replay of the ceremonies, and Haymitch asks whose idea it was to hold hands. Peeta tells him it was Cinna’s, and Haymitch says this is the perfect touch of rebellion. Kat realizes that everyone else went in standing apart, already enemies. They were the only ones standing together. Haymitch tells them their first training session is tomorrow, but they’ll discuss it at breakfast.
After dinner Peeta and Kat go to the roof, since Peeta has hinted around at an explanation for the red haired girl. It’s windy, so they don’t risk being over heard. Kat tells him that once she and Gale were hunting in the woods when two people came running like their lives depended on it. One was the red haired girl, and the other a boy. She cried out for help when she saw Kat and Gale, but they didn’t move. Seconds later a hovercraft appeared and grabbed the girl in a net, and speared the boy. They heard her cry out, and the hovercraft disappeared.
As they head inside, Peeta asks about Gale. Kat tells him they’re friends, and asks if Peeta knows him. Peeta says no, and asks if he said goodbye to her. Kat says he did, and so did Peeta’s father. Peeta is surprised. Peeta tells her that his father and her mother knew each other as kids. Kat is surprised, but just agrees. When Kat gets back to her room, the red haired girl is there picking up cloths. Kat wants to apologize for dinner, but knows she can’t. Instead: “Oh, sorry,” I say. “I was supposed to get those back to Cinna. I’m sorry. Can you take them to him?”, hoping the girl will understand the deeper meaning of her apology. Kat lies in bed wondering if the girl will enjoy watching her die.
“Everyone has their reservations, naturally. You being from the coal district. But I said, and this was very clever of me, I said, ‘Well, if you put enough pressure on coal it turns to pearls!’“ Effie beams at us so brilliantly that we have no choice but to respond enthusiastically to her cleverness even though it’s wrong.
“But when I remember the other couples, standing stiffly apart, never touching or acknowledging each other, as if their fellow tribute did not exist, as if the Games had already begun, I know what Haymitch means. Presenting ourselves not as adversaries but as friends has distinguished us as much as the fiery costumes.”
What do you think the red haired girl and the boy were running from?
Why do you think Peeta and Kat’s holding hands is rebellious, instead of just a way to stand out?
Kat has nightmares all night, filled with the red haired girl, her father’s death, gruesome images from past Games, and worries for her mother and Prim. She wakes before the sun rises and goes to breakfast. She eats two helpings of food, and then sits dipping rolls in hot chocolate waiting for the others. She thinks about what her mother and Prim are doing, and realizes it has only been two days since she was home. Peeta and Haymitch enter, and Kat is irritated that Cinna has dressed them identically. She tries to ignore it, out of respect for Cinna, and thinks about training. The tributes will have three days training together, and then the last day they will have an individual session with the Gamemakers. The Gamemakers (who act as judges) will give them a score based on their survival chances in the arena, 1-12, with 12 as the highest and unobtainable. Haymitch asks if Kat and Peeta would like to be trained together or separately. They ask why it matters, and he tells them if they have a secret skill they want to keep hidden. Peeta says he doesn’t have any, and already knows Kat’s: “I mean, I’ve eaten enough of your squirrels”. They agree to be coached together. Haymitch asks what their skills are and Peeta answers for both of them: he has none, but Kat is amazing with a bow and arrow. Kat gets irritated, and responds that she sees Peeta lifting hundred pound bags of flour in the market, and that’s not nothing. They argue, and Peeta tells her that even his mother thinks she has a better chance of winning than him “She said, ‘She’s a survivor, that one.”. Kat remembers the day Peeta saved her, and tells him it was because she had help. Peeta tells her she’ll get plenty of sponsors, and Kat replies that he will too. Peeta tell Haymitch Kat has no idea the effect she has on people. Haymitch tells them to stay clear of the things they’re good at until their private sessions, and to learn something new while in group training. And to stay by each other’s side at all times while in public.
After breakfast they head to the training center. Kat gets a good look at eh other tributes and her heart sinks. She can tell which kids haven’t eaten well their whole lives, and she may be healthier than them, but they all are much bigger than her. Except one, and she is tiny, and painfully reminds Kat of Prim. Then there are the tributes from Districts 1, 2, and 4, who have been training for this their whole lives. This isn’t technically legal, but it always happens. They’re called Career Tributes (Careers). They go immediately to the weapons station, and begin showing off. Peeta and Kat go to the knot tying station, and learn snares and traps, then go to the camouflage station. Peeta excels at this, and he tells Kat he does the cakes bake home. Kat is surprised and looks at the design on his arm. It looks exactly like sunlight going through trees. Over the next three days, they learn how to start a fire, and Peeta does very well in hand to hand combat, and Kat flies through the edible plants challenge.
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“What did [my mother and Prim] say last night about my fiery debut at the Games? Did it give them hope, or simply add to their terror when they saw the reality of twenty-four tributes circled together, knowing only one could live?”
“You’ll be living up in some tree eating raw squirrels and picking off people with arrows. You know what my mother said to me when she came to say good-bye, as if to cheer me up, she says maybe District Twelve will finally have a winner. Then I realized, she didn’t mean me, she meant you!’ bursts out Peeta.
‘Oh, she meant you,’ I say with a wave of dismissal.
‘She said, ‘She’s a survivor, that one.’ She is,’ says Peeta.”
“I hear Peeta’s voice in my head. She has no idea. The effect she can have. Obviously meant to demean me. Right? but a tiny part of me wonders if this was a compliment. That he meant I was appealing in some way. It’s weird, how much he’s noticed me. Like the attention he’s paid to my hunting. And apparently, I have not been as oblivious to him as I imagined, either. The flour. The wrestling. I have kept track of the boy with the bread.”
Why is Cinna dressing them alike? Why does Haymitch want them to stay together at all times?
Why do you think Peeta’s mother has more faith in Kat than Peeta?