What is a description of the Canadian wilderness where Brian was located in Gary Paulsen's novel Hatchet?

Expert Answers

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

In Chapter 3 of Gary Paulsen's novel Hatchet, we learn a bit about the Canadian wilderness into which Brian has just crash landed.

Before him, stands the lake, "blue and deep," into which he crash-landed the plane. The lake is also L-shaped, and he observes he is standing "at the base of the L," the short part of the L. The lake is also surrounded by a green forest of trees, most trees unidentifiable to him, except for the pines, spruces, and aspens. He further notes that the land surrounding the lake was "moderately hilly, but the hills were small--almost hummocks." The only rocks present are found in the rocky ridge to his left that overlook the lake.

Aside from the natural terrain, he also notes the animals and insects. As soon as dawn breaks, he is attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes and black flies; his eyes are practically swollen shut from the bites. After the mosquitoes finish their attack, he notices a large, black bird soaring above the tree tops. He also sees a beaver lodge in the short part of the L and watches as a small beaver head surfaces and swims down the short leg of the L. As soon as the beaver appears, first one fish then hundreds of fish begin "jumping and slapping the water," all along the shore.

What impresses him most about the scene before him is that it stands in great contrast to the scenery he is used to in the city in New York, with all of its gray and black colors and constant city sounds. At first, he felt the wilderness he was in was silent, but as he stopped to "really listen," he began hearing thousands of sounds. However, sadly, in this chapter, he is still so badly shaken from the crash that he is too tired to be able to take in all of his new surroundings and falls back asleep by the end of the chapter.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial