Free Study Guide for Hatchet by Gary Paulsen|
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FREE PLOT SUMMARY HATCHET BY GARY PAULSEN
This chapter is one of acclimation for Brian. He must come to terms
with where he is and deal with the shock of crashing in an airplane into
a lake. It takes him a whole day to realize he’s alive and accept what
has happened to him.
This time, when Brian awakens, he is unbelievably thirsty and quite sunburned. He doesn’t know if the water in the lake is safe, and it bothers him to drink where the pilot lies dead, but he forces himself to cup his hands and take a sip. Then, he finds he can’t stop. After he drinks until his stomach is swollen, he promptly climbs back up the bank and throws it all up. However, his thirst is gone, and he is ready to face the reality of where he is. He is alone, and no one knows where he is. However, he is sure they will look for him. In the meantime, he is hungry and must find food.
He remembers Mr. Perpich, his English teacher who always stressed thinking
positively, so Brian takes stock of what he does have, rather than what
he doesn’t have. He has a few coins in his pocket, a fingernail clipper,
a billfold with a twenty dollar bill, and his hatchet. He also has a pair
of good tennis shoes, socks, jeans, underwear, and a T-shirt. His windbreaker
is hanging on him in tatters, but it may have some use to him eventually.
He remembers that Mr. Perpich also said that he was his best and most
valuable asset. However, it comes to Brian that he had flown for a long
time on a different course, and he might be several hundred miles from
the recorded flight plan. Now he knows that they might not find him for
a long time, and he even thinks they might never find him. He pushes that
thought down to avoid the panic it induces. The only weapon and tool he
has is the hatchet, and he realizes that he needs to find some kind of
shelter. He has to help himself, because he is all he has.
This chapter is the next step in Brian’s coming of age. He accepts that he is his own best asset, and that he must begin to help himself. It has taken two days to come to terms with the accident and start to make his survival one that will last.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Hatchet".
. 09 May 2017