Within reading the first few pages of Hatchet, I knew I was going to enjoy the book. Hatchet was a story about bravery, courage, and strength. I enjoyed reading this great novel by Gary Paulsen. The story begins when Brian, a thirteen-year-old boy, is traveling on an airplane.
Brian is from the city, and is traveling to Canada to visit his Father. The setting is in the Canadian wilderness and is most important because Brian’s adventure would have been impossible in a city. Brian was very upset about his parents separation, but was excited to be visiting his father. However “The Secret,” as Brian refers to it, is always in the back of his mind. Brian has seen his mother with another man. He wants desperately to tell his father, but knows his father would be crushed.
I think that this situation is something that could happen in real life. Brian is totally distraught. If I were in his place, I would be also. But instead of worrying about telling my father, I think I would be worrying about confronting my mother with the situation.
I would feel I needed to stop the affair before my father did find out. Brian’s trip is very unexpectedly interrupted, when the plane’s pilot has a heart attack. Brian tries to continue the flight, with help from men over the radio. Unfortunately, the radio dies, and the plane runs out of gas. I think this part of the story, is very unrealistic. If the plane were supposed to make it all the way to the destination, why would it suddenly run out of gas? Also, why would the radios suddenly become broken? I realize this was the whole point of the novel but it doesn’t seem realistic.
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Brian then spends exactly Fifty-four days by an L-shaped lake. He faces many conflicts. He is put in a situation like the “Survivor” television show. He needs to find a way to survive, unlike on the show, by himself. He needed protection from the weather, so he built shelter.
He was hungry, so he hunted for food. He discovered how to catch fish, rabbit, and discovered bushes of nuts. He also had a bad encounter with “Poison berries,” as he called them, which made his stomach sick. Brian also had encounters with wild animals, such as, a porcupine, and a moose. Brian needed warmth, so he made fire, without any matches.
I think if I were stuck on an island, these were all things I would have to face. I would have to overcome these obstacles and survive. I don’t know if I could have done as great a job if I were in Brian’s place. With all off these physical problems he was facing, he still had “The Secret” hanging over his head. He wondered about what his family was doing, and probably wondered whether his mother had forgot about him, like she had with his father. Brian is eventually saved, and returns home.
He recovers a survival pack from the sunken plane, which includes an emergency transmitter. He is not sure how it works exactly, but flips the switch hoping something may happen. Unknowingly, he leaves the switch in the ‘on’ position, and a plane flying overhead picks up the signal. I think the ending was almost boring. It wasn’t as dramatic as the rest of the story.
Nothing exciting happened. I was hoping for more of a struggle. Brian returns home, never looking at life the same way. He never takes anything for granted.
That is definitely the moral of this story. Never take anything for granted because it can always be taken away from you. This story definitely made me look at life differently. I enjoyed this writer’s style.
He explained things in the wilderness in great detail. I actually read a story, that he tried, and succeeded, with making fire without matches, in an effort to make his character seem more life like. I normally do not enjoy stories about wildlife and nature. They tend to be long and boring, with little dialogue.
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This story also had little dialogue, but Brian had no one to talk to anyways, so what could I expect. The writer successfully made the wilderness exciting, and come alive in his writing.