Theme of Hatchet! Gary Paulsen

Learn the theme of Hatchet by Gary Paulsen!

Theme- Transformation- #1

Beginning: "His home, his life, all the solid things. Divorce. A breaking word, an ugly breaking word." (Paulsen 23)

Middle/ Change: "Brian tried several times to tell his father, came really close once to doing it, but in the end he never saw a word about the man or what he knew, the secret." (Paulsen 189)

This is important because Brian is trying to live out in the wilderness because he wants to live and help himself get through all of this. He is hooked on his family and that is what's on his mind a lot of times in the book.

The picture represents how Brian changes from a little Brian, to a big Brian in time. He transformed into the Brian he is at the end of the book.

Theme- Transformation- #2

Beginning: It was an ugly word, he thought. A tearing, ugly word that means fights and yelling. (Paulsen, 2)

Middle/ Change: I will make fire with this hatchet. Brian found it was a long way for sparks to fire..." (Paulsen, 113)

This shows that Brian has gotten over his problem of divorce. Brian has gotten over the problem and he focused more on the wilderness and how he had to leave and live on his own.

This picture shows that Brian makes a fire and isn't on the family topic anymore. He is trying to survive alone.

Theme- Transformation- #3

Beginning: Divorce. It was an ugly word, he thought. A tearing ugly word that meant fights and yelling and lawyers- God, he thought, how he hated lawyers how they sat their with their comfortable smiles and tried to explain to him in legal terms how that all he lived in was coming apart. And the breaking and shattering of all solid things." (Paulsen 20)

Middle/Change: "I have been in a plane crash. I am going to find some food. I am going to find some berries." (Paulsen, 61)

This shows that Brian has focused on surviving. He has transformed into something that is determined to live and not give up. He wants to live, which is different from the Brian in the begging of the book who didn't think that he could do it.

This picture shows that Brians parents are divorced and not together anymore. They are getting split just like in the picture.


Brian has family problems but in the same time he is transforming into someone different. A different Brian. One that is determined to live and get food and make a shelter and live by himself with no help.