Brian's mother gives him the hatchet as a gift before the novel's beginning, which is ironic because of the situation he ended up in. He ends up needing the hatchet a lot more than his mother could have predicted, as it turns out to be a life-saving tool that allows him to thrive while in the forest.
The Fish in the Water (Dramatic Irony)
During his first few days in the forest, Brian repeatedly notices fish jump in the lake. This is an example of dramatic irony, because Brian does not realize yet that he can use these fish as a source of food, even though some readers will be able to put two and two together. There are many times in the novel when readers might wish they could give Brian advice, but he has to figure things out on his own.
The Emergency Transmitter (Situational Irony)
When Brian first inspects the contents of the survival pack after retrieving it from the plane, he switches on the emergency transmitter and leaves it on, believing it to be broken. Ironically, this turns out to be what saves him, as a passing pilot hears the signal and lands on the lake to rescue him.
The Plane (Situational Irony)
It is ironic that the plane was what crashed and put Brian into this terrible situation in the first place, but in the end turns out to be the thing that saves him when he retrieves the survival pack form it. The plane nearly brought death, but it also brings life.
Hatchet Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Hatchet is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.