What is Matilda's conflict with her grandfather in Fever 1793?

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Matilda, or "Mattie" does not have much of a conflict with her grandfather in a direct sense. Compared to her relationship with her mother, Mattie's relationship with her grandfather is much more nurturing and caring. However, together they face the conflict of fighting against death that has haunted Mattie her entire life. Grandfather becomes another extension of the war that Mattie must constantly fight with disease.

When Mattie and her grandfather are kicked out of the stagecoach, she must do everything in her power to help him fight the disease. Indeed, she makes many decisions that help provide him with the shelter and sustenance that he needs. In turn, he helps her return to health when she contracts the fever. This mutual overcoming of the disease is made even more tragic when, after all of the suffering, Grandfather is killed by thieves who break into the coffee shop.

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