In the book  Hatchet, what things helped Brian think of ways to survive?

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parrottryan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 8, two events help Brian think of a way to make the most significant survival resource of all: fire.

The first event seems pretty terrible at first: Brian is attacked by a porcupine. To try and stop the attack, Brian throws his hatchet at the porcupine. It misses, but something else significant happens, although Brian doesn't recognize its significance at the moment:

But the hatchet missed, sailed into the wall where it hit the rocks with a shower of sparks…

That night, Brian has a dream in which his father and his friend, Terry, try to tell him something. In particular, he dreams that he's watching Terry light a fire:

He turned and smiled and pointed to the fire as if to say, see, a fire.

When Brian wakes up, he finally understands the significance of the sparks and the dream:

The hatchet was the answer. That's what his father and Terry had been trying to tell him. Somehow he could get fire from the hatchet. The sparks would make fire.

When Brian figures out how to make fire with the hatchet, he suddenly has a resource that will help him survive in many ways. A fire will keep away mosquitoes and other animals that may attack him (for instance, porcupines), it will keep him warm, and it will allow him to cook food.  

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