In Hatchet, how did you react to Brian's thoughts and actions? Do you think he is sensible or unreasonable? Explain.

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

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When Brian embraces the thinking of his English teacher, Mr. Perpich, he demonstrates sensible and reasonable thinking patterns.  One of Mr. Perpich's lessons to Brian is that  "You are your most valuable asset....You are the best thing that you have."  From this point, Brian embraces the idea of taking the situation and its elements in an incremental fashion.  He articulates the idea that he has to figure out what to do and how to live in the wilderness.  He has to make the assumption that he is not going to be magically removed from the setting, and rather work within it.  For Brian, this becomes critical and it represents how his thinking is sensible in the midst of crisis.

Brian learns how to focus on one item at a time and succeed at it before moving on to the next one.  Building a shelter, creating a food shelf, learning how to hunt, developing new technology to assist him in survival, and gaining insight into the natural conditions around him are examples of both what he did to gain some level of control over his predicament as well as demonstrating reasonable and sensible thoughts.  Brian gains "tough hope" throughout the novel, a resilience that is forged on what can be and must be done as opposed to wishful thinking that is more idealistic than pragmatic. In these instances, I think that Brian is sensible in his use of attitude and toughness.  Brian displays a certain courage and strength that reflects resolve and reasonability.

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