My Side of the Mountain

by Jean George

Start Free Trial

Why does the My Side of the Mountain narrator want an unseen house?

Quick answer:

The narrator Sam wants a house that can't be seen because he knows that the Catskill Mountains can get very busy during the summer. Although his great-grandfather's farm is somewhat remote, hikers, campers, hunters, and fishermen are sure to wander across it. So in order to avoid all these people Sam makes himself at home in the trunk of an old tree.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

For Sam, some degree of isolation is essential if he's going to make the most of his adventure up in the Catskill Mountains. His original plan was to go and live in his great-grandfather's farm. But he soon realizes that this is not a very good idea. Though the farm is relatively remote, it doesn't afford Sam the degree of isolation that he needs.

Come summertime, this particular part of the Catskills can get quite busy. It's a beautiful part of the world and, not surprisingly, many people want to make the most of it. That means that even a remote place like the farm is liable to have all kinds of people walking through it, disturbing the peace and tranquility that Sam seeks amidst the natural beauties of the countryside.

Sam changes his plan and decides to build a house of his own, a house that cannot be seen by the madding crowd of summer. He finds just what he's looking for in the rotting trunk of a large tree. But before Sam can move into his new accommodation there's still a lot of work to be done. He needs to scrape out all the old, rotten insect-ridden dust in order to make it habitable.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial