Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

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

Chapter 4 of The Lightning Thief shows Percy Jackson facing a number of physical and mental challenges, including coming to terms with the admission that Grover is a satyr, getting into a car accident, fighting a Minotaur, and watching his mother disappear before his very eyes.

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Chapter 4, called "My Mother Teaches Me Bullfighting" begins with Percy and Grover racing with Mrs. Jackson in a Camaro through a storm. Grover informs Percy that he, Grover, is a satyra goat from the waist down and that they need to escape the Lord of the...

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Chapter 4, called "My Mother Teaches Me Bullfighting" begins with Percy and Grover racing with Mrs. Jackson in a Camaro through a storm. Grover informs Percy that he, Grover, is a satyra goat from the waist downand that they need to escape the Lord of the Dead. When they are about a mile away from the summer camp where Mrs. Jackson is taking Percy to be safe, the car seems to explode but has only turned over into a ditch. As a creature with horns and furthe Minotaursuddenly appears and chases Percy, his mother urges him to get over the line to the camp, where he will be safe.

Percy watches as the Minotaur picks up and flings the Camaro through the air. It crashes on the ground, and the gas tank explodes. The Minotaur catches Percy's mother and holds her dangling. Suddenly, she disappears. Percy sees the Minotaur going after Grover and decides to distract him by waving his red jacket as if the Minotaur is a bull. It works. The Minotaur charges and gets hold of Percy, then flings him against a rock. However, Percy finds he has the Minotaur's horn in his hand. As the Minotaur runs at him, he rams the horn in his ribs and the creatures gives out a cry of pain before disintegrating. After that, Percy and Grover get to the safety of the camp. However, Percy now has the problem of his mother being missing.

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In chapter 4, Percy faces both mental and physical challenges. For example, Percy must piece together bits of information in an attempt to make sense of what is happening to him. He learns that Grover is a satyr and that he has been "keeping tabs" on Percy. Percy is forced to comprehend that the three old women at the fruit stand, and Mrs. Dodds, are real. With little time to ask questions and receive answers, Percy learns that something terrible is chasing him and that his only chance for safety is to get to a "summer camp."

Once lightning hits the car, Percy's physical challenges begin. Percy's mother explains that the monster only wants him, but Percy insists that they will all go together. He and his mother attempt to carry Grover, but they are forced to separate. Percy recognizes the beast as the Minotaur and is successful in his first attempt to dodge the charging beast. The Minotaur heads toward his mother and grabs her. Percy watches as his mother turns to light and dissolves. As the Minotaur charges again, Percy manages to land on top of it and pull one of its horns free. He then stabs it with its own horn, and the beast vanishes. Percy then manages to carry Grover to the farmhouse, where he collapses, but not before hearing a girl say, "He's the one. He must be."

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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. 

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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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