Hatchet

The ultimate young-kid-lost-in-the-wilderness book. And yes, there are a lot of them.

American LiteratureAll American Literature
AuthorPaulsen - Gary Paulsen
Early 20th-Century LiteratureEarly 20th-Century American Literature
FormNovel
LanguageEnglish Language
LiteratureAmerican Literature
ThemesContrasting Regions
Family
Isolation
Man and the Natural World
Perseverance
Transformation
Wisdom and Knowledge

Transcript

00:27

... could it be that the hatchet represents a bridge between technology and nature?

00:32

Maybe it denotes feelings of hope and despair?

00:35

Or perhaps it is Brian's last vestige of his home?

00:40

We actually like to think that it symbolizes the tools we need -- physical or otherwise

00:44

-- that help us through some tough times.

00:47

We wouldn't recommend trying to get through a rough break-up with a literal hatchet though.

00:51

You could wind up serving 40 to life. So question: Do our parents give us enough

00:57

tools to make it through life's disasters?

00:59

Are we stronger... ...or weaker than our parents?

01:03

With all the modern challenges thrown our way...

01:06

...are 'Kids These Days' going to be... okay? Is the whole world going to end?

01:13

Will this be the 'Last Generation'...ever? Probably not.

01:20

But are parents giving kids the 'Hatchets' they need...

01:22

...to survive this modern world? Brian got a real hatchet...

01:26

...without which he wouldn't have been able to construct a shelter, cut up his meals,

01:30

or defend himself against predators. But us kids are getting 'mental' hatchets...

01:37

...so we can cut through our challenges... ...and find our way out of our own forests,

01:43

just like Brian did. Even though parents are helping...

01:45

...it's still up to us kids to use our tools. For good...

01:49

...or for not so good. But preferably for good.

01:54

Kids are as strong as they've ever been... ...but what about the next generation?

01:57

Will the world end with them, or will they figure out how to use their own hatchets to

02:02

make their way? Shmoop Amongst Yourselves.