Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Trouble is a novel written by Gary Schmidt. It is about a boy who is called Henry. Following his brother’s tragic death in an accident, Henry decides to climb Mount Katahdin, as this is what he had intended to do with his brother. Henry decides to go ahead with this plan and climb Katahdin in memory of his brother. He is joined on his venture by Sanborn, Chay and Louisa.

The climax of this book is a very slow rising climax. The climbing of Mount Katahdin can be seen as an analogy to the climax in the book. There is no sudden climax, no sudden event which leads to the culmination of the novel. Instead, the development of the plot is very slow, in accordance with the fact that the novel’s protagonist is in the process of climbing a mountain, which is also done very slowly. In fact, Mount Katahdin itself could be seen as a metaphor for Henry’s life, as Henry is finding out important truths about his own life in the process of the climbing of Mount Katahdin. The revelations about Henry’s life and his family are just as emotionally tiring as the climbing the mountain is physically exhausting.

Therefore, the climax of this novel is the increase of revelations and knowledge about Henry’s life and his family, ultimately leading to Henry seeing his life, including his brother, in a totally different light.

At the end of this slow climax, Henry finally realizes that his father’s philosophy of protecting his children from trouble by trying to avoid anything negative is simply not realistic. Instead, Henry realizes that he needs to face challenges, problems, and possibly even pain in order to succeed in life. This is the very reason why the author has chosen the title “Trouble” for his book.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial