What was the conflict on My Side of the Mountain?

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sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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"My Side of the Mountain" tells the story of Sam Gribley and his decision to live on his own in the wilderness.  The main conflict surrounding Sam is the conflict of survival.  When he left civilization, he had minimal supplies.  Sam didn't take lots of food or tools.  

It is May when he leaves New York with “a penknife, a ball of chord, an ax, and $40” as well as a flint and steel for making fires.

That's what I would call an extreme bare minimum.  Sam is continually in conflict with the nature that surrounds him.  He must hunt and forage for food.  He must deal with vitamin deficiencies.  He has to deal with changing weather conditions and the lack of a great shelter.  Because of the limited supplies that Sam took, he didn't even have the right kinds of clothes to deal with the changing conditions.  The month of January was especially hard on Sam.  

Toward the end of January I began to feel tired, and my elbows and knees were a little stiff. This worried me. I figured it was due to some vitamin I wasn't getting, but I couldn't remember which vitamin it was or even where I would find it if I could remember it.

At the end of the novel, Sam's conflict turns internal.  He must decide to continue living on his own or to return to his family.  

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