In Hatchet, how does Brian measure time?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Brian measures time in a couple of ways.  One way is literal.  Brian marks off the days in the wilderness at his shelter door, on stone.  Each mark is a day and in this, Brian is able to fully grasp the length he has been in the wild and also note how time is measured.  In a more symbolic way, Brian marks off time in his own mind as to specific events that he has had to endure.  The struggle for a food source, the discovery of fire, the cultivation of fire, the words of Perpich in taking things in an incremental manner, as well as the need to develop "tough hope" are all examples of this.  As Brian becomes more reflective in the wild, he recognizes that time is measured in how much he has changed.  In this, time can be seen in a subjective manner, something that exists outside the realm of the objective.  In measuring in time through this manner, I think that Brian is able to demonstrate maturation and growth in that he recognizes that he can only control what experiences he has as well as how he appropriates his own setting.  In conceptualizing time in this manner, Brian demonstrates a sense of maturation and growth as he marks off time in his time.


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