Hatchet , Dane Moore

By, Gary Paulsen Published Sep. 30th 1987, Young adult novel


Hatchet is about a boy named Brian. He is in a plane flying to see his dad. Its just him and the pilot. The reason his mom is not with him is because his parents are divorced. Brian hated the word. He just felt so sad that his parents split. Meanwhile, in the air the pilot has a heart attack. Brian knows he has to take control of the plane or they will crash. Brian, only being 13 really does not know how to fly a plane but he knows he has to. Brian takes control of the plane but then crashes into a lake. Brian ended up surviving the crash but that is just the beginning.

Brian ended up out in the middle of no where and had to fend for himself. With his trusty hatchet by his side he started to construct a shelter of some sort. He also found some berries to eat. He knew a rescue plane was coming to get Brian but he missed it and sees it just in time to see it fade off into the distance. Brian was devastated, crying, and very angrily mad. He thought then that he would never get out of here and be rescued. Overtime Brian gets stronger than he was before. He constructs a bow and arrow and learns how to hunt different animals. But, later he gets attacked by a skunk, then a moose.

Then, Brian goes back to the plane and sees the pilots survival pack and finds a sleeping bag, compass, cooking tools, lighters and matches, and a rifle. Brian then finds an emergency transmitter. He thought it was broken because it was cracked. The pilot then stepped out and told Brian he found the transmitter and they have a signal. They then can call for help again. A little while later they are rescued! By the time they get back Brian is changed not only physically but emotionally too.


The story takes place in Hampton, New York, and the forests of Northern Canada, in the present day. The setting effects the plot by showing us that if this story didn't take place in the woods then none of these things that happened could. If the pilot did not have a heart attack and as a result the plane crash then Brian would not have to fend for himself. But, the plane did crash and Brian was alone in the woods. Brian had to learn how to do many things to stay alive. He had to cook for himself, construct a bow and arrow for hunting, and even learn how to hunt. As a result Brian gets stronger and learns a lot more. This is how the setting effects the plot.

Protagonist and Antagonist

The protagonist is a 13 year old boy named Brian Robeson. After his plane crashed in the Canadian woods he has to learn how to do many things. To learn how to be a man. To learn many new things and fight through all the woods and dangers that is thrown at him from all his surroundings. He has to face all his fears and dangers weather he wants to or not.

The antagonist is Mother nature. All the dangers and forces that she throws at Brian makes Mother nature the antagonist. She is the antagonist because she is trying to stop Brian and do things to stop him from doing what he wants to. Brian had to defend himself from a plane crash, a moose attacking him, and a skunk spraying him. Yet, he ended up just fine.

Point of view

The story is told in 3rd person. Its 3rd person because we only know about Brian's thoughts and feelings, not his parents. We know Brian's deepest thoughts and feelings he has.

Conflicts and Internal or External

1. One of the conflicts is Mother Nature. Throwing her forces and dangers at Brian. Trying to slow Brian down

2. Another conflict is that Brian has to do everything himself with no help and all he has is a hatchet.

3. Brian had to learn how to take control of the plane and land it safely without it crashing.

All of these conflicts are external because Brian is fighting against all of these things and surviving out in the wilderness. He isn't up against himself. He is up against everything around him.

Theme fits the book

The theme is, "man and the natural world." This theme fits because the man (Brian). And the natural world such as mother nature shows a mans fight against nature when he has to fend for himself and take on all the challenges and tasks that Mother Nature throws at him.