In Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, in what ways has Brian changed since the airplane crash?

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kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Prior to the crash, Brian was really just like the usual teenager. He was dealing with a painful divorce, but he is not particularly strong physically or mentally. At the time of the crash, he feels sorry for himself and is very scared at the prospect of being alone and trying to survive.

But as time goes on and he finds a great inner strength, he begins to mature, thanks to the difficulties he faces and the hard work he does to overcome them. He learns a great deal about how strong he is as he gets sick and hungry and hurt and finds that he can recover from all of it. By the time he finds the survival pack in the plane, he has come to feel that he is the master of his surroundings and has grown very confident in his physical capabilities.

He also matures mentally as he deals with both the challenges of the wilderness and the pain he still feels about the knowledge of "the secret" and the reason for his parents' divorce. His acceptance of his situation and the mental work he does to figure out how to move forward and survive build a great deal of mental strength within him over the course of the story.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Before Brian crash landed in the middle of the Canadian forest, he was not an experienced outdoorsman. Brian was also not a mentally tough individual nor did he possess the skills necessary to survive in the wilderness. However, Brian gradually develops important skills that allow him to hunt and survive in the Canadian forest. Brian becomes in tune with the natural environment and solemnly recognizes essential elements of the wilderness. He develops the ability to spot foolbirds and catch plenty of fish. Brian learns to differentiate between types of berries that he discovers in the forest, and he also creates various items that help him survive. In addition to Brian's newly developed set of survival skills, he also becomes a mentally tough individual. He conquers his loneliness and self-pity, and he develops a positive outlook despite his many setbacks. Brian goes from being a typical teenager, to an experienced, courageous outdoorsman.