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Katniss Everdeen is the 16 year old narrator and protagonist of the novel. Katniss is an outsider to her country of Panem. As a member of the poorest class in the poorest District (District 12), Katniss is forced to scrounge and hunt for her family's survival. She takes care of her younger sister Prim and her mother by hunting with Gale, her closest friend. She is a professional hunter with great survival skills, and her best weapon is her bow and arrow. In order to stay successful, Katniss has developed a tough stoic attitude to life, which comes in handy once she is chosen to compete as District 12 representative in the Hunger Games. Deep down, Katniss has a deep compassion for others, and thrives on taking care of the helpless. She learns more about this part of herself during the Games.