Freak the Mighty Questions and Answers
by Rodman Philbrick

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What are all the conflicts briefly in "Freak The Mighty"?

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There are many internal and external conflicts in Rodman Philbrick's novel Freak the Mighty. An internal conflict is when a character fights a battle within himself/herself. For example, someone might be conflicted because even though they know it is wrong to lie, it is the only way they can think of getting what they want. An external conflict is between a character or characters and one or more external force. This can be another character, a group, a natural disaster, technology, the supernatural, or an animal. This is not a comprehensive list.

Freak the Mighty is told from Max Kane's point of view. He shares his internal conflict over his identity. He is the son of Killer Kane, and as a result, he feels that his worth as a person is diminished. This is an internal conflict for him.

Max lives with his grandmother and grandfather and does not seem to be too close with them. There is a conflict because they are his mother's parents: they fear him somewhat because he looks so similar to his father, the one who murdered their daughter. This is mostly an internal conflict for Max, because it is never spoken about. He notices this about his grandparents, but outwardly, they take care of him. It is another example of how and why he wrestles with his identity.

Another internal conflict Max experiences is when Kevin dies. He believes Kevin completely when he tells him the story about the experimental treatment that will give him a new body. When Kevin dies, he cannot reconcile that fact with his belief that Kevin was going to be fixed.

One external conflict in this novel is the conflict between Tony D. and his gang. Kevin throws insults at the bullies because he feels brave with Max beside him. In essence, he picks a fight with Tony D., and this is really how Max and Kevin bond as Freak the Mighty.

Another external conflict is when Killer Kane requests to see Max. Max does not want anything to do with his father. He has flashbacks of his mother's troubles with his father, although, at the time of the flashbacks, he was very young.

Killer Kane kidnaps Max, which is another external conflict. He ties him up, but Loretta helps him escape. Before he can run, Killer Kane catches them and tries to strangle Loretta. This is another external conflict—man versus man. Max lunges at his father in order to stop him from killing Loretta.

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mkcapen1 | Student

The first conflict is that Max has been left motherless because his father killed his mother.

Max has trouble relating to people and has a lot of inner anger.

Max has learning disabilities and feels stupid.

Freak has a physical disability that limits his movement and height.

Max has grandparents who fear that he may turn out like his father.

Max's father is getting out of jail and wants to see him.

Freak has an allergic reaction to chopy suey at school and has to go to the hospital.

Max's father kidnaps him.

Freak confronts Max's father.

Loretta fights Max's father.

Freak dies.

Max has to learn to cope without his friend.

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