From Philbrick's Freak the Mighty, what are examples of times when Kenny Kane tries to be a good father to Max?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Kenny Kane kidnaps his son Max from the grandparents' house in chapter 16 of Philbrick's Freak the Mighty. From the onset, Kane continually tells the young teenager that Max's grandparents poisoned his mind against his father. These comments are Kane's way of trying to get Max to know that he cares about him, but it's not very effective coming from a kidnapper. Kane also vows that he never killed anyone. By informing his son that he isn't a killer, he is trying to comfort his son and make Max believe he is a good man. Additionally, Killer Kane discusses his plans to provide for his son and himself in the future in chapter 17. Trying to comfort Max and telling him his dad is a good man seems like ways that a good father would act.

Another way that Kane tries to show that he is a good father is by asking the following:

"Now the other thing is the geezers you've been living with all these years. I bet they never gave you the presents I sent you, did they?" (111).

This gesture seems nice, but there is no way of telling if Kane actually sent presents because Max never got them. If Kane did send Max gifts from prison, that would certainly be a sign that he has cared about his son all along. 

Kenny Kane also tells Max that he knows about Grim and Gram placing him in resource classes. Kane says that no child of his will ever be considered slow or challenged in any way. He simply advises Max to act smart, and he will be smart. Although uninformed about Max's educational situation, Kane does show a vote of confidence for Max that may have been unexpected. Good fathers do believe in their sons no matter what, so believing that Max is smart can also be an example of how Kane shows his son that he is a good dad.

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Freak the Mighty

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