Hatchet

by

Gary Paulsen

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Hatchet can help.

Brian’s Mother Character Analysis

Brian’s mother lives in the New York City area and works in real estate. She described mostly in terms of her divorce from Brian’s father. She has an affair with another man and initiates the end of her marriage, although she is not aware that Brian knows about the affair. Although Brian is furious with his mother about the affair, he also longs for the comfort of her presence during his time in the wilderness and especially misses her cooking. Brian’s mother also gives him his hatchet as a gift before he leaves on the plane, which enables him to survive for several months in the wilderness after the crash.

Brian’s Mother Quotes in Hatchet

The Hatchet quotes below are all either spoken by Brian’s Mother or refer to Brian’s Mother. 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:
Get the entire Hatchet LitChart as a printable PDF.
Hatchet PDF

Brian’s Mother Character Timeline in Hatchet

The timeline below shows where the character Brian’s Mother 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
...word “divorce,” 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... (full context)
Adversity and Growth Theme Icon
...of the divorce. Brian reflects that his father doesn’t know what he knows about his mother and reveals that he will now have to live with his father during the summer... (full context)
Adversity and Growth Theme Icon
Independence vs. Connection Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
...unwell. Still distracted, Brian remembers driving to the airport outside New York City with his mother. He recalls that she wanted to talk to him about his feelings about the divorce,... (full context)
Chapter 4
Adversity and Growth Theme Icon
...Secret: he is riding bikes with his friend Terry back home, when he sees his mother sitting in a station wagon. Brian does not recognize the car and is about to... (full context)
Chapter 5
Adversity and Growth Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...northern Canadian 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... (full context)
Chapter 6
Independence vs. Connection Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
...it has 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... (full context)
Chapter 7
Adversity and Growth Theme Icon
The Natural World Theme Icon
Brian wakes up in terrible pain in the middle of the night, screaming for his mother. He feels that the berries he ate are tearing his stomach apart, and he throws... (full context)
Chapter 9
Adversity and Growth Theme Icon
Independence vs. Connection Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...it. Alone 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
...imagining how happy he will be to see the rescuers and be reunited with his mother and father soon. (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,... (full context)
Chapter 19
Adversity and Growth Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
...tastes a sweet drink packet and enjoys the smells of the food, thinking of his mother’s kitchen at home. (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... (full context)