The Hachet

By: Gary Paulsen; Presentation By: Nick Meissner


The theme of this story is to never give up, never surrender. Brian showed this by never accepting defeat, and by fighting through the terrible environment to victory. One of Brian's actions in this book is that he would constantly try to get tools even when tired or hungry.


Brian's physical appearence at the time of the crash was brutal. His face was swollen, and his legs were throbbing terribly. Brian's thoughts during this story were that he was going to make it no matter what. His personality proved he was not going to die or give up. Brian doesn't realize his mother loves him when she gives him a hatchet and says goodbye. Although his mother does truly love him and that may be a reason he was tough during a very brutal experience. The narrator states how Brian made fire, found food, and used prior knowledge to survive in the Canadian wilderness.

Point of View

This story is told in the first person point of view, an example of this is when it says, "I somehow still had my hatchet on my belt." Brian also says, "I have a new friend named fire." after he made fire for the first time. Another major factor in showing this is in the first person point of view is how there are no other people in the survival situation with him.

Figurative Language

The figurative language in this story consists of mainly personification. One example of personification is how Brian would say how his stomach was "turning" from hunger. Another example of personification is when the author indicates a "the plane went into a glide, a very fast glide that ate altitude, and suddenly there weren't any lakes".

It also consists of metaphors. An example of this type of figurative language is when the author stated "my stomach tightened into a series of rolling knots and his breath came in short bursts".