The Hunger Games

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Gale is Katniss’s hunting companion at home. He also lives in the Seam and is responsible for keeping his younger brothers from going hungry. Gale promises to look after Katniss’s family while she’s participating in the Games, and he is probably the person Katniss is most comfortable with when she’s in District 12. Gale is not exactly a love interest of Katniss’s in The Hunger Games, but she is confused about her feelings for him versus those she feels for Peeta.

Gale Quotes in The Hunger Games

The The Hunger Games quotes below are all either spoken by Gale or refer to Gale. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Division and Control Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Scholastic Press edition of The Hunger Games published in 2010.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Leave? How could I leave Prim, who is the only person in the world I’m certain I love? And Gale is devoted to his family. We can’t leave, so why bother talking about it?

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Gale, Primrose Everdeen
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, we're introduced to two key characters, Gale and Prim. Katniss has been friends with Gale for her entire life--they're hunting partners. Prim is Katniss's little sister, whom she adores. Katniss often fantasizes about leaving her home in District 12, since her life there is hard and miserable. But she always comes back to the same facts: she loves Prim (and Gale, who would leave with her, loves his own family) too much to abandon her for her own selfish reasons. Our knowledge that Katniss loves Gale and Prim helps to humanize Katniss: like plenty of young, adventurous people (i.e., the people who would read the book), Katniss daydreams about journeying far away from home, but she's also deeply loyal to her family and friends.

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Gale knows his anger at Madge is misdirected. On other days, deep in the woods, I’ve listened to him rant about how the tesserae are just another tool to cause misery in our district. A way to plant hatred between the starving workers of the Seam and those who can generally count on supper and thereby ensure we will never trust one another.

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Gale, Madge Undersee
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:

In District 12, there's an annual lottery to determine the contestants in the annual Hunger Games. But because of the income inequality in the town, poor children usually end up competing in the Games more often than wealthy children: poor families are incentivized to enter their children in the lottery multiple times in exchange for food (a system called the tesserae).

Katniss insightfully points out that the government of Panem uses the tesserae to maintain its power. By sowing discord between the poor and the (relatively) wealthy in Panem (i.e., the working classes and the middle classes), the government of Panem virtually ensures that there's no strong alliance of citizens against the government's own authority.

Chapter 8 Quotes

I can’t help comparing what I have with Gale to what I’m pretending to have with Peeta. How I never question Gale’s motives while I do nothing but doubt the latter’s. It’s not a fair comparison really. Gale and I were thrown together by a mutual need to survive. Peeta and I know the other’s survival means our own death. How do you sidestep that?

Related Characters: Katniss Everdeen (speaker), Peeta Mellark, Gale
Page Number: 112
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Collins foreshadows the famous "Katniss-Gale-Peeta" love triangle, which shows up again and again through the Hunger Games trilogy. At various points, Katniss is more attracted to Gale than to Peeta; at other times, she prefers Peeta. For the time being, though, Katniss barely thinks of her relationships with Gale and Peeta as being romantic. Her friendship with Gale is seemingly platonic, and indeed, she can barely trust Peeta at all--she knows that they're going to have to fight to the death at some point down the line, after all.

The passage raises an important point: all alliances in the Hunger Games are temporary. Even if it makes sense to work with Peeta in the short term, Katniss knows that their "friendship" can end only one way: with one or both of their deaths. Although Peeta and Katniss have "rebelled" against Panem by holding hands, showing their trust and friendship, the fact remains that in the end, they'll have to fight one another. In short, "the house always wins"--Panem always succeeds in getting Hunger Games competitors to kill.

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Gale Character Timeline in The Hunger Games

The timeline below shows where the character Gale appears in The Hunger Games. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
...only person Katniss feels that she can truly be free with is her hunting partner, Gale. Gale refers to her as Catnip because when the two first met, Katniss whispered her... (full context)
Division and Control Theme Icon
Appearances Theme Icon
Gale has brought a loaf of real bakery bread to share on the morning of reaping... (full context)
Division and Control Theme Icon
Societal Inequality Theme Icon
As Katniss watches Gale, she notes that their features are so similar, they might be related. Almost everyone in... (full context)
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
Gale prepares the food they’ve brought, and they sit back to enjoy the morning and the... (full context)
Appearances Theme Icon
Katniss is confused by Gale’s outburst—there’s never been anything romantic between them. They met in the woods when Katniss was... (full context)
Appearances Theme Icon
By the end of the morning, Gale and Katniss have a dozen fish, a bag of greens, and a gallon of strawberries.... (full context)
Division and Control Theme Icon
Societal Inequality Theme Icon
...families who can survive without tesserae. Katniss now has twenty entries in the reaping, and Gale, who has been single-handedly feeding a family of five for seven years, has forty-two entries,... (full context)
Societal Inequality Theme Icon
Appearances Theme Icon
Gale and Katniss split up the food they’ve gathered and head to their respective homes. When... (full context)
Chapter 2
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
Appearances Theme Icon
...gruffly tells her to let go—Katniss doesn’t want to reveal any weaknesses before the camera. Gale lifts Prim away, and Katniss climbs the steps. Effie announces Katniss and asks for a... (full context)
Chapter 3
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
Finally, Gale arrives. He wraps Katniss in his arms and instructs her on what to do once... (full context)
Appearances Theme Icon
As Gale is dragged out by the Peacekeepers, he promises that he won’t let Katniss’s family starve.... (full context)
Chapter 6
Appearances Theme Icon
Katniss explains that she and Gale had been hunting in the woods one day, hiding as they waited for game to... (full context)
Societal Inequality Theme Icon
Appearances Theme Icon
...statement with a joke about the quality of food. Then he changes the topic to Gale, asking whether he and Katniss are related. Katniss says that they aren’t, and Peeta asks... (full context)
Chapter 8
Division and Control Theme Icon
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
In the morning, Katniss imagines what Gale might be doing back home. She recalls the first time she met Gale, around six... (full context)
Chapter 15
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
...days have passed. She tastes a honeysuckle, which reminds her of her hunting days with Gale—but suddenly, she’s reminded that Peeta may have saved her life by telling her to run.... (full context)
Chapter 20
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
Societal Inequality Theme Icon
...him a happy story. At first, Katniss can only think of good memories that involve Gale, but then she decides to talk about how she bought Prim’s goat. She changes the... (full context)
Chapter 21
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
Appearances Theme Icon
...imagines that people in District 12 are watching them anxiously at home. Katniss also imagines Gale watching the Games and wonders what he thinks of her and Peeta’s relationship. (full context)
Chapter 22
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
Societal Inequality Theme Icon
Appearances Theme Icon
...so he has stayed away, and this prompts Katniss to start mentally comparing Peeta and Gale again, as she knows that Gale would view the field as a danger as well... (full context)
Chapter 27
Love, Loyalty, and Compassion Theme Icon
Appearances Theme Icon
Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...in hand. Peeta hands her a bunch of wildflowers, but they only remind Katniss of Gale. Peeta asks her what’s bothering her, but she replies that it’s nothing. At that moment,... (full context)