In chapter 4 of Philbrick's Freak the Mighty , Kevin is introduced to Max's makeshift basement bedroom. The boys like hanging out in Max's room because it is as dark and as private as a cave. It's Max's own space that usually isn't interrupted by adults, so this setting allows...
the boys to talk about going on quests, watching TV, and reading books.
The setting in chapter 5 is centered around the fact that the two boys live next door to each other. This provides them with close proximity to each other so they can hang out whenever they want. For example, Max can readily accept an invitation to dinner at Kevin's house because he lives right next door. Having dinner at Kevin's house helps to build their friendship, too, as described in the following passage:
"We sit out in the back yard eating from paper plates, and Freak tells robot stories that are so strange and funny I'm laughing like a maniac and then I'm choking and Freak is pounding me on the back" (27).
These next door friends can build upon their relationship because they are not hindered by traveling across town for visits. Without living so close to each other, Max and Kevin may not have had the opportunities to get to know one another as much as they do.
Then in chapters 6 and 7, the boys are able to attend the Fourth of July fireworks together because the festivities are at the millpond, which is walking distance from their homes. Since Max walks with Kevin on his shoulders to get around more easily, the boys have an opportunity to bond and become partners against bullies. When Tony D. and his gang challenge Max and Kevin, at the millpond, the two friends are able to figure out a way to avoid conflict by running into the pond. The setting in this chapter provides a venue for Max and Kevin to solidify their cooperative powers against bullies. It also helps them learn how to conquer life together as a team.
Finally, by chapter 8, Max and Kevin are back at their homes enjoying a typical summer together. Again, because their homes are close in proximity, the setting provides opportunities for the boys to interact with each other on a regular basis. The setting gives them time to learn more about each other and grow closer as friends. For example, Kevin won't let a minute of summer vacation go wasted on sleeping:
"Each and every morning the little dude humps himself over and he bangs on the bulkhead, wonka-wonka-wonka, he may be small but he sure is noisy. 'Get outta bed, you lazy beast! There are fair maidens to rescue! Dragons to slay!' which is what he says every single morning, exactly the same thing, until it's like he's this alarm clock" (44).
Kevin wakes Max up every morning during summer vacation and gets the "lazy beast" out of bed to experience life, not sleep it away. Kevin also gives Max a reason not to spend the whole summer watching TV. If it weren't for the fact that Kevin can get to Max's house easily, the boys probably would not have had the opportunity to become such close friends.