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For Katniss, Gale is a symbol of the toughness engendered by poverty, where Peeta is a symbol of selfless kindness. Much of the novel is her learning to accept that both elements are a part of her character. Gale's influence proves extremely useful in the arena, as Katniss uses her stoic demeanor and hunting aptitude to stay alive. However, her ultimate victory comes for being able to trust others, a virtue she first learned when Peeta gave her bread years before. Even in the arena, Peeta's kindness continues to affect Katniss, until she ultimately refuses to win the contest unless they win together.
Hope this helps Cody! If not, please reply and I will try and make it a bit more clearly! :)