Hatchet Gary Paulsen Character Analysis

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This paper will analyze the portrait of adolescence in the book, Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen. This book is centered around a 13-year-old boy named Brian, and his struggle to survive in the remote forests of Canada after his plane crashes while he is on his way to visit his father. If you are from Springfield, I would not be surprised if you have read this book or are at least familiar with it. I remember reading it way back when and I enjoyed reading it again. This book was interesting and challenging in a way because due to Brian’s overall isolation throughout the whole book, he had unique challenges compared to the average adolescent character you may find in other stories. Although he did not have the human interaction that most people would …show more content…

Coming of age is essentially an internal change in your thought process or your maturity. (Manthei, Lecture 3). With this being your standard man versus nature scenario, Brian’s transformation came through the struggles presented to him by nature and not through your “standard” “normal life” experiences. Brian’s coming of age came to him through multiple stages. The first stage being what looks more like a rebirth. This happened during his initial crash into the lake. “…the water was trying to kill him, to end him-somehow he pulled himself out of the shattered front window and clawed up into the blue, felt something hold him back, felt his windbreaker tear and he was free. Tearing free. Ripping free.” (Paulsen, 2007:43) This first stage took Brian’s idea and experience of reality away from him. He now entered his new reality and his old one was “ripped away from him”. The second stage of Brian’s coming of age developed through the numerous trials and tribulations that he faced while being alone and having to survive in the harsh wilderness. The thing the stood out the most in this aspect were the bugs. Mosquitos in particular. “ He had come through the crash, but the insects were not possible. He coughed them up, spat them out, sneezed them out, closed his eyes and kept brushing his face…All biting, chewing, taking from him.” (Paulsen, 2007:39) These bugs were testing Brian’s resilience and willingness to survive. You would think that little bugs are not such a big deal, but when you look at his overall situation, you realize how terrible that would be. All of these problems which included animal attacks, hunger, bugs and very unfortunate weather conditions finally pushed Brian through the barrier and through his coming of age experience as seen on page 122. “He was not the same now-the

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