I’m teaching plot and characterization in Gary Paulsen’s novel, Hatchet. I will focus on the theme of isolation by analyzing what Brian learns about himself while stranded in the Canadian wilderness. I would introduce this conversation surrounding Franz Kafka and isolation after reading Chapter 5, when Brian first realizes he’s the sole survivor of the plane crash and he’s utterly alone. I would bring the conversation back at the end of the novel for students to reexamine the pros and cons of isolation.
Level: Elementary English/Language Arts
Subject Area: American literature
Author: Tiffany Heitman