My Side of the Mountain

by Jean George

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How does My Side of the Mountain end?

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The book ends with Sam Gribley, who has lived in the woods for almost a year, finding out that his family is moving up to the mountain with him to build a house.

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These are the last three chapters of the book. By now, the seasons have turned to Spring. Teenager Sam Gribley has been living by himself in the Catskills for almost a year. And for most of this time–except for a few walks into the nearest town–Sam has lived without much...

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human contact. But now more folks are finding him. A boy named Matt wants to write about him. A musician named Aaron wants his advice on bird songs. Tom Sidler, who Sam nicknamed “Mr. Jacket,” hikes up and helps Sam catch a turtle. Bando, the professor who once got lost on the mountain, comes back again as a friend.

At first, Sam doesn’t know what to make of this escalation in his social life. A personal revelation comes at the end of the twentieth chapter, “More About The Spring in Winter and the Beginning of My Story’s End,” when he asks his animal friends what they think of the situation. He believes that Frightful the falcon tells him, “You really want to be found, or you would not have told Matt all you did.” This remark gives Sam pause. Did he secretly want more interactions with others? Would he ever want to go back to the city?

At the end of the book, Sam’s family comes up the mountain to visit him. He is as happy to see them as they are to see him. And instead of dragging him away from this place that he loves, to go back to city life that he hated and left, his family surprises him by moving up onto the mountain with him. They have plans to build a house here. Based on this ending, you may consider whether or not Sam got what he really wanted.

By the way, Jean Craighead George later created two sequels to this book: On the Far Side of the Mountain, and Frightful’s Mountain. You may be interested in learning the rest of the story.

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In the classic novel, My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George, Sam Gribley runs away from his family and their crowded New York City apartment for life on a deserted section of family land in the mountains. The novel chronicles his adventures. During his stay, he encounters a stranger on his mountain, and through their discussions, Sam realizes that he misses his family. Part of the reason he ran away was his perception that he would not be missed. He finds that this is not true, when his father comes to visit him at his mountain home in a hollow tree. Through their visit, Sam comes to realize how much he misses h is family, and how important they are to him. While his father does not demand that Sam come home, Sam decides that he wants to rejoin his family.

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What is the climax of the story in My Side of the Mountain?

The climax of the novel comes when Sam is faced with a decision at the end of the novel. He must choose either to heed his father's call and join his family or run off and continue to live in isolation in the wild. 

Many exciting episodes have occurred prior to this point in the novel from Sam's stressful survival conflicts (claiming Frightful; gathering wood for winter; the first big snow storm, etc.) to his social conflicts (Sam's encounters with Bando, with the young reporter and with professional journalists). 

It is the social conflict, however, which is thematically central to the novel and to Sam's character.

The book develops the theme of independence versus the need for relationships...

Sam initially goes into the woods to be alone, having lived in a very crowded house with his family in New York City. As he spends more time in the woods, Sam is surprised to find his strong desire to be alone fading. This desire is actually replaced by a conflicted sense that he may actually be happier around people. 

His new sense is put directly to the test when his father calls out to him near the end of the novel. 

One day Sam’s father arrives at his camp with the whole family, including Sam’s mother and eight siblings.

Sam's internal conflict regarding his preferred mode of living comes to its breaking point. He must decide to continue living alone or to greet his family. 

This decision is dramatized in the narrative as Sam's thoughts on the matter are directly related to the reader. Sam even begins to run away, thinking that he is capable of living indefinitely in the woods using the skills he has attained in the past year. 

In the end, Sam realizes that he does desire companionship and he turns around, running to meet his entire family as they make their way up the mountain.

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What is the climax of "My Side of the Mountain" written by Jean Craighead George? 

The climax of any given story is the point at which the conflict comes to its pinnacle.  The protagonist confronts the problem head on, and he usually wins.  From that point forward, the rest of the story is wrapping up.  I'd love to tell you that the climax of My Side of the Mountain is some super exciting final confrontation with a bear or something like that, but it's not.  

The story begins with Sam making a decision to live out in the woods and scratch out an existence with his own bare hands.  He encounters countless struggles and obstacles and overcomes each with his wits, determination, and a bit of luck.  However, the climax of the story arrives when his family comes to visit him.  It's at that point that Brian wrestles with his final obstacle.  Will he continue to live out in the woods by himself, or will he return to his family and civilization?  Sam knows that he is capable of continuing to live on his own, but he has gotten to the point where he misses the companionship of people.  Sam chooses to go home.  That choice is the climax of the story.  

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What is the climax of My Side of the Mountain by Jean George?

My Side of the Mountain by Jean George is ultimately just about a boy who has to make a decision. He makes one at the beginning of the story, and he makes one at the end. We learn that Sam ran away from his family in New York because he just felt too crowded; though his father is aware that Sam is leaving, he expects Sam to be back the next day. Instead, Sam takes his flint (for fire) along with his "penknife, a ball of chord, an ax, and $40" and he heads to the Catskills.

Sam has many adventures and quite a few harrowing moments, including a blizzard, but he has to work hard to keep himself alive through the winter. As time passes, he is rather surprised to discover that, because he has built himself a home and lives in a kind of community, he is beginning to feel much like he did at home.

I was living in the woods like anyone else lives in a house. People drop by, neighbors come for dinner…I felt exactly as I felt when I was home. The only difference was that I was a little harder to visit out here.

When his family arrives one day--all ten of them--he is forced to make a choice. Will he greet and accept them or will he choose to remain a recluse. That decision is the climax (also known as the turning point) of the story.

While many other interesting and exciting developments happen in the book and we even wonder if Sam will survive, Sam begins the story living in a tree and by the end of the story he has to decide if he is going to keep on living there or go home. That's it. 

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What is the turning point in the book, My Side of the Mountain?

The main turning point comes in the 18th chapter, “In Which I Learn About Birds and People.” Bando brings Sam three newspaper articles that claim that a wild boy is living in the Catskills. Sam has been found out, in spite of how careful he has been to protect his new home and his lifestyle. Then his father finds him and comes to him too, as a result of the articles. His father leaves to go back to the city, to reassure his wife and the rest of the children that Sam is doing all right. And Sam may believe that nothing has changed. But we readers expect that this development will lead to more changes in the future. Indeed, more people come afterward.

Other parts of the book could be viewed as hints at turning points. Sam is not usually lonely; but in the 13th chapter, “In Which The Autumn Provides Food and Loneliness,” he admits to feeling lonely. He’s missing human contact. Then he throws the Halloween party for the animals, and he has more to worry about than loneliness.

The 16th chapter is called “In Which Trouble Begins.” Sam decides to go to town on a Sunday, wearing his deerskin clothing. He gets strange looks from the townspeople, of course. He should have known better. And “Mr. Jacket,” whom he meets in a store, calls him “Daniel Boone” and wonders what he’s up to. For all we know, Mr. Jacket may be one of the people who contributed to the newspaper articles Bando brought up at Christmas. Did Sam go to town that day to want to be found out? This incident could mark a turning point, too.

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What is the climax of the story, My Side of the Mountain?

I would say that the climax occurs when Sam has a frightening experience when he is covered up in the wall of snow.  If you have seen the film, you should be aware of some key differences in the climactic scene, as outlined here at eNotes: 

"In the film, Sam is trapped by a wall of snow and is rescued by Bando. After his close encounter with death, Sam decides it is time to go home—"I've learned all I can," he says. This differs from the novel, in which Sam escapes simply by poking his head up into the soft snow and standing up, and in which Sam's solitary sojourn is interrupted by his family's decision to move to the woods."

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