Free Study Guide for Hatchet by Gary Paulsen|
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FREE SYNOPSIS/SUMMARY HATCHET BY GARY PAULSEN
Brian awakens in the night with severe stomach cramps and screaming for his mother. For over an hour, he vomits and has diarrhea because of the berries with which he gorged himself. Then, he crawls back into his shelter, and because he canít fall asleep again for a bit, he remembers the mall and his mother with the blonde-haired man. This time, however, the memory continues, and Brian remembers that they werenít just together in the station wagon; they were kissing passionately. Gradually, the memory fades, and he sleeps again, with the last thought that the Secret was the kiss.
When Brian awakens, he remembers the reaction to what he calls the ďgut cherries,Ē and sets to cleaning up after himself. He goes to the lake and looks into the water. What he sees frightens him - his face is cut and bleeding, swollen and lumpy. His hair is matted and there is a cut on his forehead. His eyes are slits in the middle of all the mosquito bites. Heís also covered with dirt. He is almost overcome with self-pity, and he cries long, wasted tears. But he puts aside the pity and crawls back into the shelter. He picks out only the berries that are fully ripe and eats them carefully, this time spitting out the pits. He even comes to think of his new shelter as ďhome,Ē and the thought amazes him, as it makes real how he has changed in just two or thee days.
Later, Brian goes in search of more berries; this time finding raspberries
that are full and ripe and much safer to eat. Just as he is eating a few,
he hears a slight noise and turns to see a bear. He stands perfectly still
out of fear that such a huge animal could have come up behind him with
such little noise. The bear helps himself to a few berries and then slowly
moves away. Once it is gone, Brian begins to run, but soon comes to a
stop when he realizes that the bear had made no move to hurt him. He is
not prey for the bear which had only been foraging for berries, just like
him. So, he slowly walks back to the berry bushes and begins to gather
more and makes it back to his shelter just as a storm breaks overhead.
For the first time, he doesnít think of himself and instead marvels over
how he had shared the berries with another being. Nonetheless, he takes
precaution and puts the hatchet close beside him as he falls asleep that
This chapter exhibits Brian in the middle of a learning curve. His greed for food led to diarrhea and vomiting, and now he knows to look at what heís eating more closely. He learns that he can share the food with another being which could be dangerous to him, but had proven to be willing to share the berries with him. He also learns to take more precautions in spite of the bear leaving him alone. He is in a wilderness, and he has no idea what dangers might wait ahead. Finally, he learns that there is no room for self-pity in his predicament. There is no one there to help him or listen and pity him.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Hatchet".
. 09 May 2017