Hatchet

Grant Evans written by Greg Paulson

Symbolism

In the novel , Hatchet the reflection of a large bird flying from the top of the forest symbolizes that Brian can be free and fly when he accepts that he is responsible for saving himself. Also, when the plane turned just as Brian gets his signal fire going, it symbolizes the boy's great despair that he will never be rescued.
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Setting

The setting of ''Hatchet'' takes place in Hampton, New York, and the forests of Northern Canada, in the present day.

Theme

One of the themes in Hatchet is to never give up.Throughout the story it is known that without hope, life doesn't have any meaning. Brian learns this the hard way, but it is what helps him when he faces the most difficult challenges to his survival.

Conflict and Plot

In this story, the protagonist is Brian Robeson who is only 13 years old when life forces him to call upon and search within himself for skills to find a way to survive when the plane crashes in the Canadian woods. He is deeply hurt by a secret that he knows about his mother and how that secret led to his parent's divorce. Over the days that he spends in the woods of Canada, he must put the secret aside and learn to be a man.

In this story, the antagonist is nature and all of its dangers as well as beauties. Another antagonist is Brian himself as he battles against his tendency to just give up when this new life seems too difficult. He also has to end his obsession with the secret and his parents divorcing and learn to live with what he can't change.


The plot begins with Brian leaving NYC to fly to Canada to visit his father, Then, the pilot suffers a heart attack and dies, and Brian must guide the plane to land as safe as possible. Brian is now in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a hatchet that his mother gave him, but now he must figure out how to keep himself alive, find food and shelter, and avoid any dangerous animals until someone comes to rescue him.

A rescue plane finally comes, but Brian is unable to get his signal fire going in time to alert it, and this is the point that everything changes for Brian. He becomes very depressed and tries to kill himself by cutting his wrists with the hatchet. But realizes that isn't the solution. This is when he becomes the "NEW" Brian. He survives and is finally rescued.

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Book Review

I would recommend this book for any boy from the ages of 12 and up. I enjoyed reading it because it was full of adventure and a story about survival. Both the details of what he is doing to survive, and the changes he goes through in his attempt to survive are believable, interesting and illuminating. I love any book about nature, and I also liked it because Brian overcame fear, depression and how to never give up and over come all obstacles in life.
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