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by Gary Paulsen

Hatchet Exploration Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

Brian had once had an English teacher, a guy named Perpich, who was always talking about being positive, thinking positive, staying on top of things. That's how Perpich had put it—stay positive and stay on top of things. Brian thought of him now—wondered how to stay positive and stay on top of this. All Perpich would say is that I have to get motivated. He was always telling kids to get motivated. (5.39)

Do you think this is a good memory for Brian to draw on as he thinks about surviving alone in the wilderness? Does just having a positive attitude change your ability to succeed in a difficult situation?

Quote #2

Still, he thought. Still. As his stomach moved toward his backbone he became less and less fussy. Some natives in the world ate grasshoppers and ants and if they could do that he could get a raw egg down.

He picked one up and tried to break the shell and found it surprisingly tough. Finally, using the hatchet he sharpened a stick and poked a hole in the egg. He widened the hole with his finger and looked inside. Just an egg. It had a dark yellow yolk and not so much white as he thought there would be.

Just an egg.


Just an egg he had to eat. (10.31-35)

Here we see Brian's exploratory nature at work. His willingness to try new things is being tested, literally, by the prospect of eating raw turtle eggs. Mmm.

Quote #3

He scrambled down the side of the bluff and trotted to the edge of the lake, looking down into the water. Somehow it had never occurred to him to look inside the water—only at the surface. The sun was flashing back up into his eyes and he moved off to the side and took his shoes off and waded out fifteen feet. Then he turned and stood still, with the sun at his back, and studied the water again.

It was, he saw after a moment, literally packed with life. Small fish swam everywhere, some narrow and long, some round, most of them three or four inches long, some a bit larger and many smaller. There was a patch of mud off to the side, leading into deeper water, and he could see old clam shells there, so there must be clams. (11.20-21)

Just being in a new situation can cause you to see things in a whole new way. Part of exploring and looking for new solutions is being open to seeing things from a different perspective, and our boy Brian does just that.

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