Free Study Guide for Hatchet by Gary Paulsen|
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FREE ONLINE NOTES HATCHET BY GARY PAULSEN
Brianís day now consists of all the work he must do. He has to rebury the eggs near his shelter, add wood to the fire, and clean up the camp area. This helps keep his depression at bay, the depression about not being found that he had suppressed. He decides to always have enough wood for three days, and that is a staggering amount of work. As he is gathering it all, he notices, too, that his body is changing. He has lost all the baby fat that hung around his middle, and his stomach has caved in from his hunger. His sunburn is turning to tan, and the smoke from his fire has made his face look leathery. But the greatest change concerns who he is becoming. First, he hears differently, knowing what a sound is even before he realizes he has heard it. He truly sees things as well - all parts of the object rather than just its whole. These two things - his body and his mind - have made a connection that he doesnít quite understand yet, but which he knows has occurred.
This day, Brian also decides to prepare his signal fire, so if he hears
an engine, he can run up with a burning limb and set it off. When he climbs
up the ledge, he sees the lake for the first time from above as he had
seen it just before the crash. It brings a moment of fear, but this is
soon followed by the sense of the incredible beauty that lies below him.
At this moment, he also sees the fish jumping in the water below, and
he recognizes another source of food. The birds are diving and grabbing
up the smaller fish, and Brian is dumbfounded that he never thought to
look inside the water for food. It is literally packed with life - fish,
clams, and even tiny crayfish. When he stands in the water a few minutes
later, the fish dart away, but they soon come back as if curious about
him. Brian knows that he can use this curiosity against them and catch
them for food by perhaps making a small spear. Now tomorrow will bring
him even more work to keep himself safe.
At this point in Brianís new existence, he comes to some new conclusions about his life - he has changed, and he values different things now. His survival instincts have kicked in, and he recognizes the value of work. His body has changed from being outdoors and working to find food and build a shelter and a fire. However, itís his thinking process that has changed the most. Self-pity is gone and determination has taken its place. He is fast becoming a man and his time in the wilderness will be invaluable because of the change it has created in him. The reader hopes at this point and all through the book that Brian will be found, but there is a sense that even if he is there for a long time, he will be alright, just because he is growing up.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Hatchet".
. 09 May 2017