The Main Theme of Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

April 28, 2022 by Essay Writer

Gary Paulsen’s Young adult fiction story, Hatchet, takes place on a small island, an island with no people where he is alone. Brian got in this situation as the pilot of the plane he was on had died and Brian with no experience of flying the plane crashed. Brian was scared at first, but he starts to starve, which reveals that he has to fight to survive. Brian learns that he must fight to survive and this event goes on throughout the whole book. Early on in the book Brian is weak and confused as he has never been in a situation like this. Brian knows he must stop complaining, though because no one would answer his complaints as he was alone. In the middle of the story, Brian begins to become resourceful with the things that he does as he starts to build shelter fend off animals, withstand pain, create resources, be wise with nature, and hunt for his own food. Towards the end of the book, Brian learns that he cannot survive forever as winter would be coming and he begins to search for greater, and stringer resources, just as he gets picked up. Many of these events in the story lead to a very important theme that can affect anyone and is very simple but impactful, never give up. Which is constantly shown throughout the book in all of Brian’s actions that he shows within the book.

To support the theme at the beginning of the book we see how weak and doubtful Brian is. As brian first crashed in the story Hatchet he was very weak, and could barely hold on to his life. An example of this event would be a few days after he crashed the plane, right as the rescue team did not find Brian right away he immediately had no hope and basically wanted to die because he thought that he had no hope of surviving. Brian was as hopeless as a bird trying to get to the moon at the moment. He was constantly telling himself how hungry, and weak, hurt he was, while he should have been doing something for his well being. This major moment of the book supports the theme in many ways, the main way that this book supports the theme is that it sets in the example, of what really does happen when you lose all of your hope to survive. This shows how when Brian is just giving up he is getting weaker and weaker and losing all of his hope. This sets a great example of the worst possible thing which is giving up, and what not to do because it sets you down a misleading path. Another critical scene that happened in the early stages of the book was that Brian found the gut cherries. Brian was looking for food in the forest he stopped complaining and found these berries that he called gut cherries which immediately gave him more hope. Even those these berries gave him pain, they gave him a burst of hope to not give up, and this foreshadows how he won’t give up and will continue to attempt to survive.

In the middle of the story, we see how Brian’s hope gives him strength and helps him survive. The events in the middle of the story really support the theme, because Brian starts to learn how to do many things on his own instead of pouting constantly he fights for his life, and has a positive outcome. One of the examples of this moment was when Brian was hunting for the fool birds and fish. When Brian started to create his own resources it really had shown how he would not give in to his pain. This moment showed how he was not giving up because it was showing how he was not going to give. After all, he was making materials to try to catch these animals out of sticks and stones, he was finding a needle in a haystack just to survive. These moments showed us that Brian wouldn’t give up, because when he was trying to catch fish and birds, he failed for days on end, but he continued to try and never gave up and ended up catching them. This moment was a breakthrough to the story because this showed his ability to not give up, he got the best meal he had in the past month. In the middle of the story another moment when he was debating giving up, because he knew he would not survive the cold harsh winter. At this point, Brian was delusional of any chances of living because they had not found him in such a long time. This moment is critical to the theme because it shows how he was debating just giving up and that he was pointless to continue to try. Right after this moment, he decided to believe again and from there only good things happened to him, which foreshadowed that he must believe and god will come.

By the end of the book, Brian’s hard work pays off in the best possible way. After Brian was struggling to survive in the book he continued to believe and not give up to survive. One of the things he did at the end of the story was that he went to the bottom of the lake to get food. This moment was a crucial scene of the book because it showed that he would even risk his life to survive. This supports the theme, a lot because Brian showing that he will die for his survival and he wouldn’t give up, even though he nearly drowned. At this moment of the story so much of the theme is revealed, because it really shows his commitment to not giving up. In this state of time, it had already almost been two months since Brian had got lost on the island, and had been very weak. But Brian knows that he must not have given up and he really fights thought to survive and end up getting loads of resources he needed. All these resources he needed he had finally got in the most simple ways, just because he kept thinking of new ways to obtain resources. In the book, we also learn that hard work pays off, because at the end of the book, almost the most important scene happens which is when Brian gets Rescued. Brian would have never got rescued if he had just given up. If he had just given up, nothing would have happened, because he would not have had any faith, and he would have just given up when he first crashed, and he would have most likely died. But he strived through the book and he believed and worked hard throughout the whole book, which let him survive.

Certainly in the book Hatchet, by Gary Paulson, it could be said that the theme is that hard work pays off. While this is a good point since it is partly true that a lot of Brian’s success was due to his hard work. It fails to account for that if Brian hadn’t had the mindset that he should never give up, he would have simply crashed and burned. If he had not had that amazing mindset that he will get saved and he wouldn’t give up no matter what gets in his way. It could have been possible that he spent a lot of time to get to nothing if he just gave up one day, it could have been he never got found. Brian got saved from the island because of his hard work, but it hadn’t had the attitude and actions to never give up, he could have died at the beginning.

In the book Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen, the main theme of the book is to never give up. This theme is restively shown throughout the book in many ways as he fights to survive and goes through many events where he had to believe as his only way of surviving. If Brian had not had acted so quickly and so well to survive and if had given there could have been many different outcomes. Some of the outcomes that could have been possible could have been simply that Brian had died on the island, or if he did not make fire, he could have been stranded on the island for who knows how much longer. But due to Brians’ hard work and dedication, he was able to strive to survive and live to see another day in his hometown. Overall the book Hatchet supports a theme that everyone should follow in life because you must never give up.


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