Study Questions and Suggested Essay Topics
What role do patience and observation play in Brian's survival? How do Brian's powers of patience and observation change in the course of the book?
In describing Brian's activities in the wilderness, Gary Paulsen repeatedly uses the phrase "There were these things to do." Why does he use this phrase and how does it reflect Brian's frame of mind?
When Brian finds the rifle in the survival pack, how does it make him feel?
Suggested Essay Topics
Why did Gary Paulsen title this novel Hatchet?
How are Brian's physical and mental states linked? Is the relationship between mind and body stronger in the beginning or the end of the novel? What accounts for this shift?
What do you think would have happened if Brian had found the survival pack much earlier? Would he be the same person he became under the book's circumstances?
The past is constantly plaguing Brian throughout the book, through his daydreaming, his sleeping dreams, and his flashbacks. How does Gary Paulsen incorporate the past into the present?
What are the most important lessons Brian learns about the natural world? How does his time in the wilderness affect his attitude toward the land and the animals?
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