PurposeThe fence serves to keep wild animals out of the district and the citizens in, so that they can't escape. Beyond the fence, the woods begin, and just outside is where the Meadow lies. Although the fence is supposed to be electrified 24 hours a day, most of the time there isn't any electricity at all because of District 12's poor resources. Since it has been out of service for quite a while and no one seems to maintain it, people can thus easily sneak under it. The fence is rarely crossed, as most people do not dare to enter the forest, but some citizens such as Katniss Everdeen and Gale Hawthorne do so everyday to hunt in the woods. It is illegal to trespass, but the Peacekeepers of District 12 do nothing to hinder it, as they also desire the meat that the hunters bring home.
Katniss mentions that occasionally, in the autumn, some citizens walk about 60 feet beyond the fence to pick up fruit that is harvestable; however, they always stay near "the safety of the fence". Katniss also says that wild animals could easily get into the district if they pleased; she is convinced that the only reason they stay away is that the smell of District 12 drives animals away.
The fence is described as being a high chain-link fence topped with barbed wire loops. It is quite old and rusty because it hasn't been well maintained or used.
In Mockingjay, when the district was bombed by the Capitol, Gale gathered a lot of people and made them stand in the meadow so that the bombs would not hit them. After the bombing was over, they all crossed the fence to enter the forest, where they were later found by District 13.
Known citizens to have crossed the fence
- Mr. Everdeen
- Mrs. Everdeen
- Primrose Everdeen
- Katniss Everdeen
- Gale Hawthorne
- Hazelle Hawthorne
- Rory Hawthorne
- Vick Hawthorne
- Posy Hawthorne
- Delly Cartwright
- Greasy Sae
- Greasy Sae's granddaughter
There is also a fence in District 11, which Katniss sees briefly in the Victory Tour train. Instead of being old and rusty like the one in District 12, the fence in District 11 is strong and always electrified. Seeing the fence, Katniss realizes just how different life in District 11 is. Katniss says the chance of getting under it is 'non-existent'.