Hatchet – Gary Paulsen

Published: 2021-07-30 23:15:08
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Category: Writer, Hatchet

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HATCHET ESSAY Brian Robeson, the main character in Gray Paulsen’s novel Hatchet does experience problems after crashing in the Canadian wilderness. However, he is able to survive because he learns from his mistakes and he becomes more positive and resilient. When Brian survives the plane crash he initially finds it very difficult to cope in his new environment. His clothes were soaked and muddy, he was freezing cold and his anorak had been torn. As he was practically motionless a “swarming horde of mosquitoes flocked to his body. ” He was being eaten alive but didn’t have the energy to fight back!
Brian approached the lake and all he could see was his ‘ugly’ reflection of his beaten up face. Brian was miserable and lonely and depressed. He could remember how in the city it was all grey and black but now he was in a green nature. Brian had no food so he managed to find some berries which he called “gut cherries” because of the massive stomach pains they gave him. He was satisfied that he had food but it was nothing compared to what he could eat back home. One night whilst sleeping Brian felt something on his leg, he awoken to see a porcupine near his foot.
Without thinking he kicked it and got some of the quills stuck in his foot, Brian then threw his hatchet at the porcupine but didn’t hit it and landed against the wall in his cave. Brian felt so upset with himself. “It was all too much and he couldn’t take it. ” So it can be seen that initially Brian certainly finds it hard to survive in the wilderness. Although Brian finds it difficult at first, he is able to survive because he learns from his mistakes and he is persistent. After the incident with the porcupine Brian needed rest so he lay down on his side and shut his eyes.

That night Brian had a strange dream his best friend Terry & his father were in it. His dad was trying to speak to him about how he threw the hatchet against the wall and that if he did it again sparks would come. His dream wasn’t at all clear but Brian managed to find out its purpose. The next morning Brian looked over his dream again and again. He grabbed his hatchet and kept hitting the wall with it. Brian knew that he needed something to keep the spark alive so he grabbed a few twigs and tore up a twenty dollar note that he happen to have in his pocket.
At first he didn’t succeed but with his persistence Brian made a new friend ……”fire”. Brian had still been eating gut cherries and needed something new. Brian was down at the lake and noticed some strange tracks across the sand, he thought they may have been turtle tracks so he followed them to find turtle eggs buried, about 12 or so. Brian quickly cracked one open and drank what was inside. He was in heaven and was going crazy over these eggs. He knew he had to leave some so he took the rest back to his shelter. Brian knew he had a fire and he knew that his shelter was near the lake.
And what lives in the water? Fish do. Brian could make a fish spear! He carved a stick with his hatchet and began his task of trying to get a fish. It wasn’t working, the fish would just swim away as soon as Brian raised his arm or made the slightest of movements. He needed a better weapon, maybe a bow & arrow. Brian’s fire had gone out whilst he was outside and it just so happens that a plane had flown past. Brian was screaming out to try and get the pilots attention but without the smoke he didn’t seem to look down.
Brian was destroyed on the inside, he just didn’t want to bother anymore. He grabbed his hatchet and started cutting his wrist. The next day Brian woke up upset but after thinking long and hard he was a new man, he learnt from his mistakes and made a better fire which he would sustain and he would not let anyone or anything get in the way of his survival. He even managed to complete his bow and arrow, he was trying it out when the arrow splinted into his face. He didn’t want to be upset so he made a better arrow which would hold.
Brian remembered from past experience with the spear that the light refracts in water so he knew exactly how to get a fish. The trouble was that it wasn’t as easy as he thought but after about an hour of trying Brian finally got one, his first fish. In all the time he’d spent so far in the Canadian wilderness he never thought he would feel so good. With the spare fish guts Brian places them in a shallower pool of water which of course attracted more fish. He then made a small net which fenced off the pool. He basically had his on fish tank where he could eat any at any time.
Because Brian is determined and is able to learn from his mistakes he manages to endure this difficult time. As time passes, Brian becomes more positive and resilient and he refuses to give in. Brian had been going well, he’d been eating fish and maintaining his fire so that if rescue did come he’d be back home. Fish was getting kind of boring for Brian and he felt like meat. Of course there were birds around, Brian could hear them all the time. The problem was how to get them? He could use his bow and arrow but the birds might fly away at the sound of movement kind of like the fish.
Brian knew about a bird called a fool bird. They have amazing camouflage skills. Brian discovered that the fool birds were shaped rather like pears and that he should look for shapes not colours when trying to capture these birds. With his brain and agility Brian managed to kill one of the fool birds, having his official “day of first meat. ” Weeks had passed and still Brian hadn’t been rescued, it was as if they’d forgotten about him or at least looking in the wrong place. But Brian had to be positive and think positive as he patiently waited day after day.
He was doing everything he could think of right so why hadn’t he been rescued yet. Time would tell Brian thought. There would been no Brian Robeson without more injuries, like one day when he was down at the lake a moose came to get a drink and thought of Brian as a pray so the moose rammed his leaving Brian without broken ribs as he thought. Things weren’t going good, he could barely walk well and one night a terrible thing happened. He heard gusts of wind coming from hear there and everywhere. It was a tornado. Brian wasn’t safe at this point in time and he was scared for his life.
The next morning he woke up to complete disaster. His shelter had been torn apart, there were trees on the ground everywhere you looked and out on the lake Brian could see that the tornado was that strong that is managed to move the plane so its tail was sticking up. Brian needed to get his fire started again he couldn’t risk another chance of not being rescued. So he fixed up his shelter and started the fire again but still he wasn’t rescued. Brian was getting a bit fed up with the situation that he had to take matters into his own hands.
There must have been a survival kit in the plane which he knew would have some sort of rescue device so he put together a raft made out of logs he’d found after the tornado. With his broken ribs Brian paddled out towards the plane. All he had with his was his hatchet. When he got to the plane he tied the raft up and began examining how he could get inside. Brian started chopping at the plan with his hatchet. Then all of a sudden he dropped his hatchet. He couldn’t believe it all this time Brian had been lost the only useful thing he had was his hatchet and now that was at the bottom of the murky lake.
He had to retrieve it, he just had to! Brian dived down into the lake looking around but wasn’t able to see anything. He then dived down a second time managing to get his hatchet. He then continued chopping at the plane. After a few minutes Brian had made it bigger for him to just fit through so he climbed inside the plane. Brian looked around and couldn’t see any type of survival kit or bag. So he dived under and found the bag which was attached to the seat in the front of the aeroplane. He managed to get it and started making his way out of the wreckage.
As he was pulling the bag out he would budge so Brian moved around whatever was inside and thankfully it came out. He paddled back to shore and back up to his shelter, where he then looked inside the bag. It had everything you could imagine. Blankets, pots, food, water, knifes but most of all Brian saw a transceiver type of device he turned it on at the bottom but it didn’t seem to do anything. Brian was so hungry that he didn’t care about survival right now. He saw packets of food which you just had to add water and you were done. Brian ate about 5 adult meals and then he heard a noise.
It sounded like a sort of plane, then he looked up. Coming down landing next to the lake was a plane and a man approached him and said “Your Brian Robeson, that kid that got lost aren’t you? ” Brian said nothing but “Would you like some food”. By refusing to give in and remaining positive, Brian survives his time alone in the Canadian wilderness. When Brian’s plane crashes it first appears that he will struggle to survive. However with each experience Brian learns to do things differently and this assists his survival. He becomes a person who is able to learn from his mistakes and remain positive and determined in his new environment.

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