reTHG: The Hunger Games - Chapters Five and Six: Cinna
I have a lot of in-depth headcanon about Cinna. Probably even more than Haymitch, a character I like more, but don’t spend a lot of time thinking about. Haymitch’s personality is so external, and his history is fleshed out enough (by MJ) to understand his motivations. Cinna’s are so wide open. I have a story about Cinna and Portia I really want to write, so I won’t divulge ALL my Cinna theories here, just a few relatively pertinent ones.
When I first read this book, I was vaguely troubled by Katniss’ description of the Capitol citizens, because she’s very judgmental of them, in a superficial way. To me, the described Capitolite modes of self-expression are not intrinsically offensive – certainly not intolerable – and judging people by the way they look strikes me as fussy and conservative. I understand Katniss’ revulsion to them – she associates this audience, their lack of misery, their lack of compassion, their numbness to the tributes, with how differently they act and look from the district citizens. I was more worried about Collins’ judgment, really.
“‘It’s not real flame, of course, just a little synthetic fire Portia and I came up with. You’ll be perfectly safe,’ he says….
…Cinna appears with a lighted torch. ‘Here we go then,’ he says, and before we can react he sets our capes on fire. I gasp, waiting for the heat, but there is only a faint tickling sensation. Cinna climbs up before us and ignites our headdresses. He lets out a sign of relief. ‘It works.’ Then he gently tucks a hand under my chin. ‘Remember, heads high. Smiles. They’re going to love you!’”