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Analysis

Literary Devices in Hatchet

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

The WhereWe don't know exactly where the story of Hatchet takes place because Brian is very, very lost. Here's what we do know:Brian's plane comes down somewhere in the North Woods, a vast area tha...

Narrator Point of View

The story of Hatchet is Brian's story, plain and simple.The third person narrator who tells the story has access to Brian's deepest thoughts and feelings, but not to anyone else's. That means we do...

Genre

There's no question about it: Hatchet is first and foremost an adventure story. The book has all the elements—and then some—that make the adventure genre so exciting and fun. Dangerous situatio...

Tone

Brian isn't the narrator of the book—we know. But Hatchet is absolutely his story. And the fact that we see things from his point of view is clearly reflected in the book's tone. There's very lit...

Writing Style

Details, DetailsCalling the style detailed doesn't require much explanation. Where another book might gloss over some of the smaller points of the main character's life, Hatchet often takes us step...

What's Up With the Title?

You don't have to be a rocket scientist (or an English teacher—here at Shmoop we think they're pretty smart, too) to figure out that Brian's hatchet is an important little item in this book. His...

What's Up With the Ending?

At the end of Hatchet, Brian is rescued and returns to his life in the city. Simple, right? Not so much.It's certainly a relief to the reader to know that he's safe, and that he'll no longer have t...

Tough-o-Meter

Hatchet is a pretty straightforward book without many tricks up its sleeve. The story is exciting and easy to follow, the language is clear and accessible, and the narrative style is direct and sin...

Plot Analysis

Leaving on a Jet PlaneAs the book begins, we are introduced to Brian, a troubled thirteen-year-old boy. Brian is a normal (although unhappy) kid, on a plane going to visit his father for the summer...

Trivia

Paulsen wrote Hatchet when he was training for his first Iditarod race. He wrote the book longhand in spiral-bound notebooks, with his sled dogs curled around him for warmth. (So cozy.) (Source, 1-...
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