Hatchet

by

Gary Paulsen

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Brian’s Father Character Analysis

After divorcing from Brian’s mother, Brian’s father moves to Northern Canada to pursue his career as a mechanical engineer. Brian’s father is not described in detail, but Brian feels sympathetic toward him because of his mother’s affair, which Brian’s father presumably never finds out about. Paulson hints that Brian feels a strong bond with his father, as when Brian imagines telling his father all about the mistakes that he makes in the wilderness. Brian also dreams of his father wanting to tell him something important, an experience which leads Brian to figure out how to make fire with the hatchet.

Brian’s Father Quotes in Hatchet

The Hatchet quotes below are all either spoken by Brian’s Father or refer to Brian’s Father. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Adversity and Growth Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Hatchet published in 1987.
Chapter 1  Quotes

The burning eyes did not come back, but memories did, came flooding in. The words. Always the words. Divorce. The Secret. Fights. Split.

Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

Luck, he thought. I have luck, I had good luck there. But he knew that was wrong. If he had had good luck his parents wouldn’t have divorced because of the Secret and he wouldn’t have been flying with a pilot who had a heart attack and he wouldn’t be here where he had to have good luck to keep from being destroyed.

Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

He went to sleep thinking a kind of reverse question. He did not know if he would ever get out of this, could not see how it might be, but if he did somehow get home and go back to living the way he had lived, would it be just the opposite? Would he be sitting watching television and suddenly think about the sunset up in back of the ridge and wonder how the color looked in the lake?

Page Number: 158
Explanation and Analysis:
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Hatchet PDF

Brian’s Father Character Timeline in Hatchet

The timeline below shows where the character Brian’s Father appears in Hatchet. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 
Adversity and Growth Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...which he reflects on unhappily, remembering the fights and legal battles that his mother and father have been going through. Brian also thinks about something that he has not told anyone,... (full context)
Adversity and Growth Theme Icon
...Brian is again alone with his painful memories of the divorce. Brian reflects that his father doesn’t know what he knows about his mother and reveals that he will now have... (full context)
Adversity and Growth Theme Icon
Independence vs. Connection Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Brian thinks about what it will be like to spend the summer with his father in the Canadian oil fields, where the plane is headed. He reflects that the flight... (full context)
Chapter 5
Adversity and Growth Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...woods when the plane crashed. Brian comforts himself with the thought that his mother and father will do everything possible to find him, and that a search crew could even arrive... (full context)
Chapter 6
Independence vs. Connection Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
...always been for him to have food, remembering the delicious meals that his mother and father used to cook before their divorce. Brian thinks back on survival shows he has seen... (full context)
Chapter 8
Independence vs. Connection Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
After falling asleep again, Brian dreams of his father and then of his friend Terry. In the dream, Brian watches his father trying to... (full context)
Chapter 9
Adversity and Growth Theme Icon
Independence vs. Connection Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...with the fire, he looks out over the landscape and wonders what his mother and father are doing at that moment. (full context)
Chapter 12
Independence vs. Connection Theme Icon
...happy he will be to see the rescuers and be reunited with his mother and father soon. (full context)
Chapter 13
Adversity and Growth Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
...since that morning, noting them all in his “mental journal” so he can tell his father about them later. He thinks back on the first bow he made, which shattered in... (full context)
Chapter 17
Adversity and Growth Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Watching the sun set that evening, Brian imagines what his mother and father are doing at that moment. He pictures his mother watching television and cooking, and then... (full context)
Epilogue
Adversity and Growth Theme Icon
While Brian’s mother and father are overjoyed to find him alive, they do not get back together, and Brian’s life... (full context)