Hatchet: Theme

Staying determined will always get you somewhere positive.

Beginning of Novel

After Brian crashed in his plane, he kept thinking that, "He was alive. The crash is over and I am alive, he thought" (Paulsen 31).


This quote shows how extremely thankful Brian is that he survived the crash. He's also glad that the crash finally ended, since he didn't have to go through any more torture and horror. This quote demonstrated determination by showing how determined Brian was to survive the crash, and how glad how was when he did survive. At this point, Brian has now realized that he has to stay determined in order to stay alive in the wilderness.


The crash symbolizes the beginning of all of the challenges that Brian would soon face. The crash caused Brian to have to learn how to survive in the wild, by hunting for food and making a shelter. He would have to stay determined if he wanted to complete all of these things, or else he wouldn't be motivated to do his best.

Middle of Novel

When Brian finally discovered how to make a fire, he screamed out, "'Fire!' He yelled. 'I've got fire! I've got it, I've got it, I've got it...'" (Paulsen 89).


This quote showed how accomplished and glad Brian is now that he finally made a fire. He was so determined to make the fire, and all of his hard work and motivation paid off when he successfully made the fire. Brian has had small moments of accomplishment, but he knows he has to try harder in order to achieve his goal of getting rescued or at least surviving.


The fire symbolizes all the hard work Brian did to finally achieve his goal of getting rescued. Because of his hard work, he got to the state he's currently at.

End of Novel

After Brian got the survival pack from the sunken plane, he thought to himself that, "He had done it. That's all he could think now. He had done it" (Paulsen 176).


This quote showed how successful Brian feels now that he had gotten the survival pack. He had a very low chance of getting the pack without drowning, but because of his determination to live, he has the survival pack, and all the essentials he needs to survive and get rescued. Brian now has had a large moment of accomplishment, which would lead him to his goal of being rescued in the end.


The survival pack symbolizes hope, because the pack shed a bit of hope onto Brian. It proved to him that he would actually get rescued, or at least survive the wilderness with all the food and water he found in the survival pack.

How is This Theme Universal?

This theme is universal because there are many situations where people's determination helps them reach their goal. For example, if a child is determined to clean their room, they will clean their room with ease. Also, if an adult is determined to do great on their job interview, they will get their job with confidence. When people are determined to accomplish tasks, they haven't only achieved their goal, but feel accomplished in themselves for successfully achieving their goal.