My Side of the Mountain

by Jean George

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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 354

1. Compile a list of the specific ways in which Sam uses natural articles to survive on the mountain. What other needs do you think he might have had? Do you think it would be possible to recreate this kind of natural lifestyle today? Why or why not?

2. Research peregrine falcons. What are they? What is their history, and how are they trained?

3. What is the relationship between Sam and the animals he encounters on the mountain? In what ways does Sam need the animals? Do you think it is fair to an animal to tame it? Why or why not? Why can't Sam let Frightful go free?

4. What is the relationship between Sam and the hunters? Why is Sam upset with the deer hunters when he sets traps for the deer himself? What does he mean by saying, "hunters are excellent friends if used correctly"?

5. Compare the people Sam comes in contact with during his year on the mountain. What determines whether he trusts a person or not? Why does he hide from some of them and befriend others?

6. What is Sam's philosophy concerning the meaning and existence of cities? Why does he conclude that he is building a city in the forest? What does he mean by saying, "there are people in the city who are lonelier than I"? Why is he stunned and hurt when his family wants to build a house in the woods? Do you think the family will actually build that house and live in the woods? Why or why not?

7. Compare Sam and Julie of Julie of the Wolves. In what ways are their motives for running away alike or different? How do their attitudes toward animals and toward technology compare? Which of the two do you believe is better prepared for life in the wild? Imagine a conversation between Julie and Sam. What do you think they might have discussed? What could they have taught each other about survival?

8. Bando calls Sam "Thoreau." Who was Thoreau, and how does he relate to Sam? Do you think this is a good nickname for Sam? Why or why not?

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