Gary Paulsen Essay, Research Paper
?The Hatchet? by Gary Paulsen tells the story of a young boy who got stranded in
the Canadian wilderness, and how he survived. It all started after Brian?s parents got
divorced. That summer Brian went to see his father in the oil fields of the Yukon. That
day his mother sent him on a small plane piloted by a friend of his father. Brian took his
pocket knife, clothes, and most important a hatchet that his father gave him. After the
plane took off, the pilot let Brian fly the plane and showed him how to steer and basically
fly. This all would soon come in handy to save Brian?s life.
Soon they were flying over the Canadian wilderness, when the pilot felt funny and
had sharp pains in his side. The pilot thought that it was just bad gas from the lunch he
ate. The pilot soon found out that he was dead wrong. Soon the pilot was having a full
blown heart attack. The pilot let out a few mayday calls but being in the middle of
nowhere the radio wouldn?t pick up any signals. The pilot just hoped that someone had
heard his calls. Brian, being the only other person on the plane, had to try to help the
pilot. After he gave him CPR and tried to revive him, Brian gave up. Brian had other
problems to deal with, like trying to keep himself alive. Brian, with only the flying
experience the pilot gave him, was trying to find a lake to crash land the plane in. Luckily,
the Yukon is riddled with ponds and lakes.
Finally, he found a lake big enough to put the plane down in. He started his
landing into the lake. When he came down he misjudged the landing and was hitting the
tops of trees. Luckily, the mistake was small and he ended up in the lake. Brian got out
of the sinking plane and swam to the shore, where he passed out. When he woke up he
got his bearings and made himself a lean-to shelter with branches he cut with his hatchet
that was still attached to his belt. After he built his shelter he gathered some berries to eat.
After he did all that it was getting late and he was thirsty. Brian went down to the lake
and started drinking and drinking and drinking. After he gorged himself on the stagnant
water he felt sick. He then proceeded to throw up until he passed out. He woke up in the
morning and still feeling sick, he made his way to the lean to and slept for about two or
more days straight.
After resting he felt good and ready to go. Brian realized that he had to go swim
out to the plane and dive down and get some needed supplies. He then went out and got
the needed survival kit. Having limited energy and strength he had to choose what he
needed most to survive. After that, he felt hungry and ate some of the berries he had
picked. He soon found out that the berries were not edible. Brian once again found out
the hard way and got very sick. The next day he went exploring to find fresh water and
edible food. He soon found a fresh stream just below the shelter he had made.
He found edible berries to eat on the other end of the lake. He then gathered berries until
dark. That night he ate and drank with no consequence. He then fell asleep. He later was
awakened by an animal in his lean-to. Brian kicked it and then felt a sharp pain in his leg.
After the animal left, Brian found out he had an encounter with a porcupine. His four
legged friend left Brian with a painful souvenir of his visit, a leg full of barbed quills. The
next morning he took the quills out and patched himself up and then put a make shift door
on his lean to so no more visitors would bother him.
After spending a few more days in the wilderness a plane flew by and caught the
attention of Brian. He ran out and waved at the plane and luckily the pilot saw him and
radioed for help. Later that day Brian was going home in a helicopter with his mother and
father. In the end it all turned out all right and Brian still goes to see his father in the
I really liked this story and I would recommend it to any one. I think Gary Paulsen
is an excellent author and I love all the books I have read by him. If I had to say who my
favorite author is it would be Gary Paulsen. I think this book was put together very well
and the story line behind it is excellent. This is one of the best books I have ever read.