Provide evidence that despite his perilous situation, Brian remains optimistic.

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

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I think that Brian never concedes defeat in his situation.  He does ask why and engages in some level of pity at specific moments.  However, Brian does not acquiesce to the overwhelming odds and simply surrender.  He struggles and perseveres.  It is here where I think that evidence can be seen that shows Brian remains optimistic.  Perhaps, this is one of Paulsen's major points in that when there is struggle, there is inevitable optimism.  Brian's desire to build a fire would represent this.  He struggles through building the fire despite obstacles, and when he does so, there is a sense of triumph.  Inventing a better spear to hunt is another such example, as well as building a shelter that is sufficient for him.  In these examples, Brian represents the idea of being an individual who struggles and finds eventual success.  This would serve as evidence that he remains optimistic despite his perilous situation.  It also goes very far to demonstrate how he develops his sense of "tough hope," in that he will not let the wilderness take control of him.


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