In Chapter 4 of Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief, what challenges does Percy face? 

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 4, Percy is being chased by the Lord of the Dead and his minions. While Mrs. Jackson is trying to outrun their pursuers, she veers into a ditch and crashes their car. The car has been hit by lightning, and roof has cracked open. As a man with a blanket over his head approaches their car, Mrs. Jackson tells Percy to run towards a farmhouse to save himself. 

Percy helps his mother and Grover, the satyr who is in their car, to escape from the car as they are being pursued by a bull-man with bulging biceps. As the bull-man charges Percy, Percy jumps to the side. The bull-man grabs Percy's mother and puts his hands around her neck. She appears to dissolve before his eyes, as she does not have the power to sidestep the bull-man's attack. Percy is upset that his mother has disappeared.

As the bull-man is charging Grover, Percy calls attention to himself. The bull-man charges him, and Percy jumps off the monster's head. The monster slams into a tree, and the impact of the monster hitting the tree nearly causes Percy's teeth to fall out. As the monster is about to attack Grover again, Percy rips out one of the monster's horns. He then uses the horn to impale the monster in his furry rib cage. The monster also dissolves. Percy hauls Grover to a farm house in the distance and collapses on the porch. He hears the voices of Mr. Brunner and a pretty girl as he collapses. 

favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter Four of The Lightning Thief, Percy faces the challenge presented by the fact that he saw the three Fates in the chapter prior.  Both his mother and best friend, Grover, are terrified for him, and his mother drives frantically in an attempt to get Percy safely to Camp Half-Blood.  The fact that Percy saw the three Fates, Grover tells him, means that he is about to die: a challenge indeed.  As the group nears the camp's boundary, Percy realizes that they are being pursued by the Minotaur: a bullish beast that is frightening and terribly strong.  Percy's mother tries to hurry Percy toward the camp boundary, and the monster snatches her, and she "dissolved before [Percy's] eyes."  He gets angry now, and he takes on the Minotaur himself, eventually stabbing the monster with its own horn, defeating him.  Therefore, Percy's challenges in this chapter are largely physical, though he does have to begin to contend with his grief over his perceived loss of his mother.

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