Hatchet’ by Gary Paulsen is a great book about survival in the wild. It follows the time of a boy, Brian Robson, who crash lands in the middle of a Canadian forest.
I think Brian would have though of his time in the forest as fulfilling. Maybe not in the middle of the story, but afterwards, he would of thought of it as a very good experience.
From only pages of the book, Brian starts to learn. When the pilot offers him a quick lesson’ of flying the Cessna plane, this saves his life when the pilot dies a horrific heat attack in his seat. This causes Brian to panic, but he safely crash lands inside a lake.
Then soon after, he starts to learn that just some insects are coming wanting his flesh. He never thought they were that bad until they cause him to swell all over
The only stuff Brian had seen about the wild was on nature films “They only showed animals jumping around in the bushes and the rolling mountains”. It said in the novel. Brian had only lived in the city, where he is hidden away from the wilderness. He had never been into a forest before. So he was living by what he knew, which was very little.
When he goes looking for berries, he is confronted by a big bear. He had seen one before in a zoo, and thought that they would be something to stay away from in the wild. He thinks he is done for, and thinks he will be attacked. But the bear leaves him alone, leaving him with the thought that they only attack you if you attack them.
He learns things that are not just relevant to wilderness survival but also about life. These include patience, appreciation for the natural world and observation.
He learns to control his temper when he discovers frustration and hopelessness does nothing.
He also learns by trial and error, like hunting or building his shelter. For example, his first shelter doesn’t work, so he spends more time on building the second. If a method fails to accomplish the job, Brian learns from his mistakes instead of dwelling on them.
Brian also notices the beauty of nature and its sights and sounds.
Living in the city has dulled his senses.
He uses his new senses to survive, like when at first he couldn’t locate the foolbirds he tries to hunt, they pop out of nowhere surprising him with their presence.
Brian also develops a sixth sense’ in the wild. His instincts become more acute. There are lots of times in the book where he senses danger before it arrives.
When Brian first crash lands in the desert, he is a large’ or pudgy’ boy, living on a diet of hamburgers and his mum’s cooking. When he was in the woods though, on a diet of berries, fish, foolbirds and rabbit, Brian becomes slimmer and his stomach becomes lean muscle.
Brian would have learnt a lot about survival in the wild, but he also learnt qualities for everyday life as well, changing his life forever.
So I think since Brian was living by his wits’, this would have been fulfilling for him.