Does the setting of Hatchet have a positive or negative influence on Brian’s chances of survival?

The setting of Hatchet generally has a negative influence on Brian’s chances of survival. He manages to survive primarily because of the items he brought with him, his luck in not being seriously injured in the crash, and his use of the limited resources.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The title of the novel Hatchet provides a clue to one of the most important factors in Brian’s survival. Although the plane in which he was a passenger crashes in a remote rural area, he had a versatile tool in the hatchet he was carrying. The environment has limited resources,...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The title of the novel Hatchet provides a clue to one of the most important factors in Brian’s survival. Although the plane in which he was a passenger crashes in a remote rural area, he had a versatile tool in the hatchet he was carrying. The environment has limited resources, and his chances of survival were not good. The single most positive feature was the lake where he was able to land. Brian is fortunate in that he was not seriously injured in the crash. He is also an intelligent, perceptive boy who figures out how to move beyond his urban upbringing and utilize the limited resources available in the woods. The combination of having a tool, luck, and his personality is what facilitates his survival. The last factor is probably the most essential.

While Brian lacked practical experience with wilderness survival, he initially manages to keep his wits about him in a difficult situation. He quickly realizes that the hatchet will be essential and logically develops a set of priorities that should help him stay alive, such as shelter from the elements. Brian’s resourcefulness is key to his figuring out each day what his next step should be. He keeps recalling a lesson about being his own most valuable asset. His experiments do not always succeed, but fortunately he does not eat anything that is fatally toxic.

Last Reviewed by eNotes Editorial on