In Hatchet, how does Brian measure time?

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In Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, Brian measures time in two ways. Brian keeps a mental journal, so it is clear that during his time in the wilderness he does not have access to such basic things such as paper and pencil. All Brian has with him as he begins life in the wild, besides the clothes he wears, are some coins, a billfold, fingernail clippers and his hatchet. Therefore, if he is to keep track of time, he must do it in a different manner.

First of all, as the days seem to roll one into the other, he marks time on the stone near the door of his shelter. However, more importantly, he keeps track of time through his real life events. That is, he names these events as they become milestones in his survival. For example, First Meat day becomes important when he kills and provides for himself as he learns to interact with his environment. This event is followed by First Arrow day. By marking time in this way, Brian is really keeping track of the stages of his maturation, growing into a self-sufficient young man.

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Brian measures time in a couple of ways.  One way is literal.  Brian marks off the days in the wilderness at his shelter door, on stone.  Each mark is a day and in this, Brian is able to fully grasp the length he has been in the wild and also note how time is measured.  In a more symbolic way, Brian marks off time in his own mind as to specific events that he has had to endure.  The struggle for a food source, the discovery of fire, the cultivation of fire, the words of Perpich in taking things in an incremental manner, as well as the need to develop "tough hope" are all examples of this.  As Brian becomes more reflective in the wild, he recognizes that time is measured in how much he has changed.  In this, time can be seen in a subjective manner, something that exists outside the realm of the objective.  In measuring in time through this manner, I think that Brian is able to demonstrate maturation and growth in that he recognizes that he can only control what experiences he has as well as how he appropriates his own setting.  In conceptualizing time in this manner, Brian demonstrates a sense of maturation and growth as he marks off time in his time.

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