The theme of the story Hatchet is determination, perseverance and survival. Brian Robeson, whose parents are divorced, flies to visit his father in Canadian wilderness. His pilot has a heart attack and dies. Brian managed to land the plane in a lake, and escape unharmed. Now comes the hard part, surviving in the wilderness until rescued. He does have one tool to help him, a hatchet that his mother had given him as a gift. He will have to use it, his own determination, imagination, perseverance and common sense to survive.
This flight to see his father in the Canadian wilderness is Brains first time in an airplane. He explains this to the pilot and tells him that he is scared. The pilot feels sorry for Brian and decides to show him that flying is not very difficult. He lets Brian take the steering control and direct the line of flight for awhile. Just when Brian thinks that everything is going well, the pilot has a heart attack and dies. Brian knows he must land the plane himself or die. He tries to use the radio without success. He knows that if he hits the trees, he can die, so he decides to land in the water of a lake. When the plane is in the water, he gets out through a window. He lay on the bank of the lake for a while to rest.
Brian knew he needed food and shelter to survive so he set out to find both. He was very careful not to get lost or go too far from the lake where his water was. He found a cherry tree and because he was very hungry, he ate his fill. He filled his windbreaker with cherries to eat later and then managed to find a cave for shelter. He slept very well, but in the morning when he awoke, he saw a bear in the cave. He was terrified, because the bear was only about 20 feet away eating his cherries out of his windbreaker. The bear only looked at Brian and then left. The cherries must have been enough to curb his appetite!
The discovery of how to make a fire was very important to Brains survival. He needed to have one at the mouth of the cave to protect him from wild animals, and to signal for help. He discovered it by mistake when a porcupine wandered into his cave! It was dark in the cave and he heard something moving. He knew it was alive, but not what it was. He kicked it. It was then, when the quills shot into his foot that he knew it was a porcupine. He was in pain, and knew he could not touch it. He threw his hatchet, and when it hit the rock of the cave instead of the porcupine, it made a spark. He knew how to make the spark, now all he had to do was find the fuel.
He knew he needed some type of meat to survive, so he decided to catch fish. First he tried to catch them with his hands, but he soon knew he needed a better plan. He made a primitive bow and arrow. He was very proud of himself when he was able to use it to catch fish, or shoot a bird. He would scoured them and cook them over his fire. He was becoming better all the time at survival.
One day a tornado went through the area. The tornado turned out to be a revelation. It moved the plane so that the tail was now sticking out of the water. It was then that Brian remembered that the plane contained a survival pack. It was very difficult to get to, and it took a long time. He almost lost his hatchet while trying to cut a hole in the plane, but he was able to retrieve it. When he finally got back on dry land, he found that the pack contained food, knife, rifle, and C. B. radio. He tried to use the radio, but he did not think it was working. He found out that he was wrong when a rescue plane showed up, it was working!
Brian Robeson is a typical 13 year old boy trying to cope with his parents divorce. He is not happy about his mothers new boyfriend, and he is very excited about going to visit his father. He wears the typical tennis shoes, jeans, and T-shirt with a windbreaker. He is not an outdoorsman, but he has watched a lot of TV and always paid attention to how they survived difficult situations. He is scared of flying, and tells the pilot this. As his situation changes and he is faced with life or death in a survival situation, he chooses to be brave and strong and survive.
I liked Hatchet because it is about teenage adventure. When I was reading I was trying to imagine what I would do if I were Brian. I think that he was very tough. He was always thinking about what to do to survive. The thing that I did not like about the book was that everything that he did seemed to take so long! It seemed to take a few days to start a fire or to catch a fish. I did not like the ending, it was unrealistic to have a tornado go through and all of a sudden, the tail of the plane is sticking out of the water. Then, after all that time he miraculously remembers the survival pack is still in the plane. Why could not he remember it in all those other weeks?
I think that this book is especially good for preteens or teens. Anyone who likes adventure and wild life would like it. A person who likes scouting and the outdoors would probably like the book.
13. Plane tail sticking out of water
If I could make a change to the story, I think I would change the part with the tornado. I think that it was weird. It seemed like the kind of magic that you see in cartoons. If I wrote the ending to the book, I would make it more realistic. He maybe could find sulfur to make a flare or a search plane would see his smoke signal. He could even try diving over and over again to get back into the plane for the survival pack that he may remember was there. I just think that the tornado was an easy ending for the author and that he should not have used it.