What was Henry's biggest hurdle to overcome in the novel Trouble?

Expert Answers

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

In Trouble by Gary Schmidt, Henry must overcome some major hurdles as he progresses through the story, and the biggest of these is coming to grips with the reality of the world.

Henry's brother, Franklin, has always been something of an idol to Henry. Franklin has seemed like a wonderful fellow, athletic and popular, someone Henry can look up to and imitate. But then, Franklin is hit by a car and ends up in the hospital in a coma. He finally dies, and Henry must cope with his death and with the fact that in the real world, young people do suffer and die.

What's more, Henry has to come to terms with the fact that his brother wasn't perfect. In fact, sometimes Franklin wasn't actually a very nice guy. He could be a bully. Henry must learn reality and accept it for what it is before he can move on.

Further, Henry must accept the reality that he encounters as he climbs Katahdin with Sanborn, Chay, and Louisa. He much handle the reality of Sanborn's spoiled attitude and the fact that some people's parents don't actually raise their children but rather just give them things, not love. Henry must also deal with the fact that Chay is the one who was driving the car that hit Franklin, and he has to learn how to forgive Chay and see beyond the accident to the person. Reality has many different dimensions.

Finally, Henry learns that his father has always been wrong about "Trouble." Henry's father has always said that "if you build your house far enough away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you." But Henry now knows that this is not true. The reality is that Trouble comes to every single person. It is part of life, and only when one faces it and learns to cope with it does one really experience reality.

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