"Hatchet" by Gary Paulsen, Chapter 17-Epilogue

The sole survivor of a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness, thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson will need resourcefulness, courage, and strength in order to stay alive.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-4, Chapters 5-8, Chapters 9-12, Chapters 13-16, Chapters 17-Epilogue

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. incessant
    uninterrupted in time and indefinitely long continuing
    The flames cut the cool damp morning, crackled and did much to bring his spirits up, not to mention chasing away the incessant mosquitos.
  2. intact
    undamaged in any way
    Much of the wood from his original wall was still nearby and up in back of the ridge he actually found a major section of the weave still intact.
  3. refine
    treat or prepare so as to put in a usable condition
    Tomorrow he would find food and refine the camp and bring things back to sanity from the one completely insane day.
  4. sanity
    normal or sound powers of mind
    Tomorrow he would find food and refine the camp and bring things back to sanity from the one completely insane day.
  5. dawn
    the first light of day
    In the gray dawn he built up the fire and found more wood for the day, feeling almost chipper because his ribs were much better now.
  6. wedge
    something solid that can be pushed between two things
    When the spear was done, although still crude, he jammed a wedge between the points to spread them apart and went to the fish pond.
  7. stable
    firm and dependable; subject to little fluctuation
    And he needed a stable platform to get the job done.
  8. stymie
    hinder or prevent the progress or accomplishment of
    And for a moment he was stymied.
  9. tattered
    worn to shreds; or wearing torn or ragged clothing
    Then he remembered his windbreaker and he found the tattered part he used for an arrow pouch.
  10. visualize
    imagine; conceive of; see in one's mind
    He could visualize more easily his mother doing things than his father because he had never been to where his father lived now.
  11. vertical
    at right angles to the plane of the horizon or a base line
    The tail looked much larger when he got next to it, with a major part of the vertical stabilizer showing and perhaps half of the elevators.
  12. fuselage
    the central body of an airplane holding crew and passengers
    Only a short piece of the top of the fuselage, the plane’s body toward the tail, was out of the water, just a curve of aluminum, and at first he could see no place to tie the raft.
  13. hatch
    a movable barrier covering an entrance
    All openings, even the small rear cargo hatch, were underwater so he couldn’t get at them without diving and coming up inside the plane.
  14. frenzied
    affected with or marked by mania uncontrolled by reason
    Three more hacks and he had a triangular hole the size of his hand and he could see four cables that he guessed were the control cables going back to the tail and he hit the skin of the plane with a frenzied series of hacks to make a still larger opening and he was bending a piece of aluminum away from two aluminum braces of some kind when he dropped the hatchet
  15. swivel
    turn on a pivot
    He pulled himself out of the water so his chest could expand, took two deep breaths and swiveled and dove, pulling his arms and kicking off the raft bottom with his feet.
  16. propel
    cause to move forward with force
    This time he made an arrow out of his arms and used his legs to push off the bottom of the raft, all he had in his legs, to spring-snap and propel him down.
  17. clutch
    take hold of; grab
    He clutched it and in one motion slammed his feet down into the mud and powered himself up.
  18. substantial
    having a firm basis in reality and therefore important
    There were some small pieces and bits of paper floating on the surface inside the plane— dirt from the floor of the plane that had floated up—but nothing substantial.
  19. canvas
    a heavy, closely woven fabric
    The survival pack had been a zippered nylon bag, or perhaps canvas of some kind, and he thought it had been red, or was it gray?
  20. instinctive
    It was instinctive, fear more than anything else, fear of what he had seen.
  21. coupled
    joined together especially in a pair or pairs
    With the added weight of the bag— which seemed to get heavier by the foot— coupled with the fact that he was getting weaker all the time, the raft seemed barely to move.
  22. surge
    rise or move forward
    He kicked and pulled and pushed, taking the shortest way straight back to shore, hanging to rest many times, then surging again and again.
  23. antiseptic
    a substance that destroys harmful micro-organisms
    A first-aid kit with bandages and tubes of antiseptic paste and small scissors.
  24. marvel
    be amazed at
    The fire was out and and he used a butane lighter and a piece of birchbark with small twigs to get another one started— marveling at how easy it was but feeling again that the lighter somehow removed him from where he was, what he had to know.
  25. rummage
    search haphazardly
    Rummaging through the food packets—he hadn’t brought them out yet because he wanted to save them until last, glory in them—he came up with a small electronic device completely encased in a plastic bag.

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