Many stories have pitted man against nature. In what ways does Hatchet illustrate the conflict between man and nature? How does Brian's relationship to nature change during the course of this novel? What lessons does he learn about the natural world?

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The entire novel takes place in the great, remote outdoors, and as such, the theme of understanding and respecting nature is hugely relevant. In order to stay alive, Brian must learn the ways of nature, understand its inner workings, and, essentially, become a part of it. He respects the other animals in his space and they respect him. He takes only what he needs to survive, never wasting anything. These practices send an important message to readers to respect the environment around them and appreciate the various ways in which it can provide for humanity.