Hatchet Comprehension Questions

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How does Gary Paulsen show Brian's nervousness?

He was awakened by the growl of the wind.

Why do you think Gary Paulsen decided to set the opening scene in total darkness?

Much scarier, shows Brian's helplessness.

What did you think was causing the pain in Brian's leg on page 30?

It just sounded like a snake at first.

Name four images or descriptions that the author uses to make the porcupine seem like a horrible monster.

Growl, smell of rot, slithering sound, bulk in the darkness.

What does the author mean by "in just a moment it was all different"?

When the porcupine slaps Brian with quills, it instantly changed the way he is feeling.

What does Brian learn about feeling sorry for himself?

It doesn't do any good.

How does the author make the dreams in the story seem like dreams people have in real life?

Dreams just don't tell the answers. They make you think.

How does the author show Brian's frustration with his dream about Terry?

He shows Brian saying, "So what, I know I need fire."

What does Gary Paulsen mean by the sentence, "Brian found it was a long way from sparks to fire"?

Brian does not know how to turn sparks into fire.

How does the author make the sparks seem alive?

By saying they need a home or they won't stay.

How does the author show that Brian is hard on himself of his failure to start the fire?

By having Brian think a cave dweller would have started a fire by now.

Why does Brian think the sparks are starving?

He knows they need more fuel to eat.

How well do you think Brian is coping with the challenges he faces? Give several examples.

Doing well: shelter, pulls porcupine quills out, sparks with hatchet, makes fire.

On page 43, how does the author show that Brian's mood has changed?

By smiling, he has a friend, fire.

Why do you think Brian thinks of the fire as a good friend?

The fire is giving him warmth, keeps wild animals away.

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