Free Study Guide for Hatchet by Gary Paulsen|
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FREE BOOK SUMMARY HATCHET BY GARY PAULSEN
Suddenly the plane lurches to the right, and Brian sees the pilot rubbing his shoulder and smells the gas the pilot has emitted. Brian remembers then the fabric bag in the rear of the plane which is a survival pack containing emergency supplies in case they had to land suddenly. The pilot seems to have no control over the gas he passes, and he continues to rub his arm and shoulder and wince with pain.
In between his concern for the pilot, Brian remembers the ride to the airport with his mother and how she tried to talk to him about what had happened. He couldnít bring himself to tell her what he knew about her. So she changes the subject and gives him a present she has bought him for the trip. It is a hatchet with a steel handle and rubber handgrip. It is held within a leather case with a brass-riveted belt loop. She insisted he try it on and he would have refused, but he couldnít bring himself to hear how thin her voice would be if he didnít. She thinks he looks like ďher little scoutĒ and speaks tenderly like she used to do when he was sick. It made him want to cry again and he had turned away from her once more. However, the hatchet still hangs from his belt.
The pilot had now become worse and tells Brian that he has never felt
anything like this pain before. He is suddenly jolted backward in the
seat and tells Brian that he thinks his chest is coming apart. Brian knows
now that that man is having a heart attack. Then, the pilotís eyes roll
back into his head, and the smell becomes even worse. Now Brian knows
he is totally alone in a plane with no pilot and the horror that thought
brings utterly stops him.
This chapter lays down the two greatest problems that Brian is facing: his parentsí divorce and being alone in a pilotless plane. It also presents several examples of foreshadowing. First, the fact that the information about his mother is capitalized into the word Secret indicates how devastating this information is for him. Second, the pilot teaching him how to control the plane prepares us for him landing the plane himself. Third, the pilotís sudden concern with a pain in his shoulder and arm foreshadows his death of a heart attack. Finally, the fact that his mother gave him a hatchet as a going away gift prepares the reader for Brianís need for a basic tool to survive in the woods.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Hatchet".
. 11 May 2008