Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

by Judy Blume

Start Free Trial

Discussion Topic

Exploration of Conflicts in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Summary:

The primary conflict in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing revolves around Peter's struggle for attention and recognition amidst the chaos caused by his younger brother, Fudge. Peter feels overshadowed and frustrated as Fudge's antics often steal the spotlight, leading to sibling rivalry and Peter’s quest for individuality and fairness within his family dynamics.

Expert Answers

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

What is the conflict in chapters 4-6 of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing?

The conflict that arises in chapter 4 is when Peter, together with his friend Jimmy and his nemesis Sheila, have been left in charge with taking care of Fudge while he pays in the park. Fudge temporarily forgets that he can't fly and attempts to soar off the jungle gym which, of course, leads to some minor injuries. The conflict arises when Peter and his mother get home, and Peter gets shouted at for failing to take good care of his brother.

Chapter 5 is all about Fudge's third birthday party. I would argue that the biggest conflict in this chapter is when Fudge is opening his birthday presents. Fudge opens a little wind-up car that his friend Ralph has bought him, but Ralph gets jealous and snatches the car back. To make things worse, one of Sam's other friends gives him a book that he already has, which angers Fudge.

Chapter 6 sees Fudge being taken to the dentist, having lost his two front teeth in the flying attempt of chapter 4. The biggest conflict in this chapter comes after the dentist, when the boys are taken to a shoe store. Fudge, who always wants to be like Peter, wants to get the same shoes as Peter, and all hell breaks loose when it transpires that the shoes that Peter has chosen are not available in Fudge's size. The boys' mother ends the conflict by pretending to Fudge that Peter is getting the same shoes as him. This, of course, will lead to another conflict later when Fudge realizes that he has been duped.

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What are the conflicts in chapters 7-9 of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing?

Numerous conflicts arise in chapters 7 through 9 of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Many of them involve the toddler nicknamed Fudge, for Farley, Hatcher. His behavior is troubling to his brother and their parents. When their father takes the boys to work at the advertising agency, Fudge’s behavior also brings him into conflict with a client, Mr. Vincent. This conflict spills over into the relationship between Mr. Vincent and Mr. Hatcher.

When Mr. Hatcher takes the boys to the movies, Fudge slips away. Searching for him requires shutting off the movie, which creates a conflict between the family and the other audience members. Peter’s internal conflict over his constantly changing feelings toward his brother remains unresolved.

The two-year-old Fudge looks up to his older brother and tries to be involved in his activities. This leads to a conflict over a school project that Peter creates as part of a group. When Fudge ruins the project, Peter grows angry with both his brother and his parents. This conflict is partly resolved by putting a chain on Peter’s door. The conflict between Peter and Fudge continues, however, when Peter sees Fudge getting preferential treatment. Peter cares for his brother but sometimes resents and envies him. Because he wants to be a good brother, he experiences internal conflict over his changing attitudes toward Fudge.

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
Last Updated on