What is Chapter 4 in Freak the Mighty about?
Chapter 4 in Freak the Mighty is entitled "What Frightened the Fair Gwen." In this chapter, Max gets acquainted with Freak, who tells him about the characters in the story about King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, and explains his interest in the science of robotics.
When Max takes his new neighbor Freak down into his room, he asks the little boy why he calls his mother "Fair Gwen of Air." Freak explains that what he is really saying is "Fair Guinevere," which is a reference to a character from the legend of King Arthur. Freak's Mom is named Gwen, so he sometimes playfully relates her name to Guinevere, who becomes the queen of Arthur, a "wimpy little kid" who accomplished the amazing feat of pulling a "magic sword stuck in a big stone" when men far bigger and stronger could not do it. Freak likes this story because its main character is a lot like him - a small, weak figure who aspires to do great things.
Freak then explains to Max about how the armor the knights wore had the effect of making them "like the first human version of robots." This leads to a talk about the science of robotics, which amazes Freak because of its perceived ability to overcome "the design limitations of the human body." Again, this is significant because it relates directly to Freak's situation. He is an individual who is trapped in a dwarfed body which cannot begin to allow him to do the things he dreams of doing, and he longs to have a body which can.
The chapter ends when Freak hears his mother, the "Fair Gwen," calling him. He emerges from Max's room in response to her call, and Max notes immediately that Gwen is afraid of him, her son's large friend.
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