How does Max show courage in Chapter Eight of Freak the Mighty?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that one way that Max shows courage is in his "rescuing" of Kevin.  He does not shy away from helping his friend and even though he is simply following what Kevin says, in the end, the action of rescuing Kevin is what others point to in their praise of Max.  This is the most elemental way in which courage is shown in chapter 8.

I would also suggest that courage is shown in how Max does not shy away from Kevin. As Kevin keeps on talking of Arthurian legends and "archetypes," Max does not flinch from this.  He does not retreat into an inward shell when it is evident that Max is brighter than him and using terms and concepts he does not get.  In short, he has the courage to allow a friendship to exist despite the intellectual differences between them. This shows courage because it shows Max taking a chance and a risk.  It is in this light where Max shows courage.  He does not let frustration and difference insulate him and cut him off from another human being.  Rather, he is able to have the emotional courage to bridge difference and forget friendship with one who is so different than himself.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 8 of Freak the Mighty, Max describes how Kevin's presence dramatically changes his summer. Kevin challenges Max to leave his comfort zone by exploring the neighborhood with him. Kevin is an imaginative boy, who refers to their adventures throughout the neighborhood as "quests." During a conversation between the two friends, Kevin mentions that dragons do not actually exist and are simply an archetype for fear of the natural world. When Max says that he does not know what archetype means, Kevin opens his dictionary and encourages Max to look up the word. Because Max has a reading disability, looking up words in the dictionary is difficult and embarrassing for him. However, Max demonstrates courage by facing his fear of reading and looking up the word 'archetype' in front of Kevin. He does not let his feelings of uncertainty and anxiety prevent him from finding and reading the definition of the word.