How did you feel? ...How did you feel when Brian failed to signal the plane in Hatchet?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When I first read the book, I thought that this was the moment that would ultimately finish Brian.  I realized that the structure of the book was devised so that each time he encountered challenges, something emerged that allowed him to navigate it.  For example, the porcupine enters the cave, Brian throws the hatchet and then learns to make fire.  The fish elude his spear, and then Brian understands that the spear should be two pronged.  Yet, the plane flying over him, I thought would be the last straw.  Yet, the development and emergence of Brian's "tough hope" is what makes him develop a new sense of steely resolve to challenge the elements to either his own death or to his rescue.  I think that this is the moment in the book when I recognized that he had fully changed and that the situation in which he was placed would not sacrifice him, even if he were to die in it.