Hatchet

by: Gary Paulsen

Chapters 16–18

Summary Chapters 16–18

Contemplating the pilot's death in Chapter 16, Brian allows himself to grieve for him and to process his death for the first time. Brian's sense of duty toward the pilot compels him to wish him a peaceful rest and he focuses all his energy towards this wish. This private ceremony for the pilot represents one of Brian's most spiritual moments in the novel, and this sense of spirituality not only demonstrates his sensitivity toward the pilot, but also indicates certain self-awareness. Brian's burgeoning spirituality provides further evidence that he is maturing from boyhood to manhood. His emotions toward the pilot hint at a strengthening selflessness that Brian had not possessed before the crash.