Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

by Rick Riordan

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What challenges does Percy Jackson face in chapter six of The Lightning Thief?

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In chapter 6 of The Lighting Thief, entitled "I Become Supreme Lord of the Bathroom," Percy Jackson faces a number of challenges as he becomes more familiar with the workings of Camp Half-Blood. As Chiron shows him around the grounds, Percy gets "the distinct impression [he] was being watched" by something in the attic of the farmhouse. Chiron creatively shrugs off Percy's concern, and they continue their tour. As they walk, Chiron and Percy talk of Percy's trip to the grounds, and the ways in which Grover failed as a keeper. Percy wants to come to Grover's defense, but he feels guilty, thinking that none of the trouble would have happened "[i]f [Percy] hadn't given Grover the slip at the bus station." Percy faces not only the stress of being the new kid in a new place, but also the weight of his responsibility, at least in part, for Grover's current situation.

Further, after Percy and Annabeth are reunited, he gets to the cabins and begins to understand the set up of the dorms. At this point he is again faced with the issues presented by his absent father. Annabeth explains that he does not belong to a cabin yet because the identity of his father is unknown. Percy claims that his father is dead, at which time Annabeth presents new information about Percy's family. She tells him that he "would not be here if [he] wasn't one of us," meaning that he, too, is a half-blood, or demihuman. She explains that a lot of the issues he faced in life, such as his dyslexia and ADHD, are all due to his lineage. At this point, Percy begins to face the true gravity of the situation. He is part of something much bigger than he ever expected, and the realization places even more of a burden onto him. Shortly after, he faces an altercation with Clarisse, the outcome of which complicates matters even further, and makes him stand out as one of her major targets.

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The biggest problem that Percy faces is the fact that he is a new kid at Camp Half-Blood, the camp where half-bloods (kids with one mortal parent and one parent who was one of the twelve Olympian gods) go to be trained as demigods. Not only does he have to learn the ropes, he has to face the other campers. Chiron shows Percy the grounds and tells Percy about the cabins, one for each of the twelve gods, where children of those gods lived.

Other problems stem from him being the new kid. He is placed in the cabin of Hermes, which accepts all newcomers, because he is undetermined, which means that he did not know which god was his father. That immediately sets him apart from everyone else who knows their parent already.

He also runs into a bully, Clarisse, and her lackeys. They are daughters of Ares, the war god. Clarisse drags Percy into the girls bathroom, intending to give him a swirly, but the water from the toilet shoots out, arcs over him, and hits Clarisse in the face. Water from all the other toilets and the showers soak Clarisse and her friends and force them out of the bathroom.

So despite the fact that he is at a camp for demigods, he faces the same problem that any new kid at any school or place would face.

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