Free Study Guide for Hatchet by Gary Paulsen|
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FREE STUDY NOTES HATCHET BY GARY PAULSEN
Once again, Brian takes another step toward manhood. He learns that
in the wilderness, peace can become danger in an instant, when he encounters
the porcupine. He learns that despair wonít work, because after he gives
into it, all of his problems are still there to be solved. He is reminded
through his dreams once again how important it is to build a fire. And
he realizes that the hatchet is the key, because striking it against the
stone wall will create sparks that can lead to fire.
Brian soon learns that itís a long way from sparks to fire. He tries
several combinations of twigs and dried grass, but the sparks just sputter
and die. He then comes to the conclusion that he needs something finer.
He first tears up his twenty dollar bill and follows that with fine pieces
of birch bark. This lasts a little longer, but still the sparks go out.
His next conclusion is that he needs to add oxygen and adds his own gentle
breath. Finally, he creates a hot red ball of heat and that bursts into
flame. He frantically feeds the new flames with small dead limbs from
the pine trees, and the fire continues to burn. Brian thinks to himself
that now he has a friend and a guard since the fire burns near the entrance
he had created for his shelter. Furthermore, the curve of the rock above
his head acts as a perfect flue that carries the smoke up through the
cracks in the ledge, but holds the heat where he needs it. He is momentarily
satisfied with his accomplishment, but canít help wondering what his parents
are doing at that moment and whether his mother is with him.
This chapter is yet another step in Brianís evolution to manhood. Using his own knowledge and his desire to protect himself, he figures out how to build a fire from the sparks of his hatchet. However, he hasnít yet matured enough to forgive the pain his mother has caused his family and how the Secret is what destroyed it.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Hatchet".
. 09 May 2017