There's a serious transformation at the heart of Hatchet, and we're not talking about a bunny turning into dinner. When we first meet Brian, he's completely obsessed with his unhappy family situation. He seems less interested in the world around him than he is in mulling over the details of his past. When he finds himself alone in the woods, though, he's forced to look outward, and he finds that—oh yeah!—there is a world out there, after all. He's forced to rely on himself and his own ingenuity in ways that he's never had to before. And that's what we call a major change.
Brian's transformation is a spiritual one: he becomes aware of himself as part of something larger than himself.
Brian's transformation is a throwback to an earlier state: he becomes more like primitive man in his inability to see beyond the present moment.