What is the main conflict in Freak the Mighty?

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In Freak the Mighty, Rodman Philbrick’s 1993 young adult novel, the main conflict exists between Max and his father, Kenneth “Killer” Kane.

Throughout the narrative, the reader learns that Max’s father strangled his mother to death. This murder has put “Killer” Kane in prison, but he still provides significant tension in Max’s life from behind bars.

First, Max has terrible self-esteem. He refers to himself as a big butthead and hates that physically he looks similar to his father. Max lives with his grandparents, Grim and Gram, and they are constantly worried that he will grow up to be an outlaw and murderer like his father. Max fears that because he has the same DNA as his father, he could grow up and become nefarious, which significantly impedes his adolescent development.

When Max and Kevin return Loretta’s purse, Loretta and Iggy consider messing with the boys, but even they are too afraid of what “Killer” Kane would do to them if he learns they hurt his son. This...

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