Symbolism In Rodman Philbrick's Freak The Mighty

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Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick has objects or places that could be symbols for larger ideas. Each one has a completely different meaning. Whether that be to the author, the characters, or to the reader. Many of these objects include the ornithopter, the dictionary, and the empty book. One symbol in Freak the Mighty is the ornithopter that originally brought Max and Freak together. First off, birds are said to represent freedom. At the beginning of the book when the ornithopter gets stuck in the tree, Freak tries desperately to get it down “Whatever it is, that paper thing, he wants it real bad…”(12) Max says. But once Freak is on Max’s shoulders, he’s free from his body. The bird has its physical limitations, like Freak. It breaks after…show more content…
Max doesn’t like to read or write, while Freak loves to. Freak sees potential in Max-one that Max doesn’t see in himself. So he decides to give him this dictionary full of words like xyloid and obfuscate. Max does enjoy the present “This is the best, getting Freak’s dictionary”(98). Max’s teacher’s begin to see that potential too “...she finally gave up on trying to trying to make me talk in class, and instead she waits until study hall, where she asks me the same questions alone and I tell her the answers”(81). A third symbol in this is the empty book Freak gives Max towards the end of the book. Freak is giving Max a new start, telling him “I want you to fill it up with our adventures”(150). The empty book is a chance to restart and put everything about his parent behind him. But of course that is difficult for Max because he thinks he can’t write. Freak points him in the right direction though, “Just write it all down like you’re talking”(151) he tells Max. After Freak dies, Max forgets about the book and reverts to his old habits. The book is still there; His fresh start is still there. So Max begins to write. In this novel, many objects seem to have different meanings. Freak the Mighty does a great job of incorporating these in the story. By using a plastic bird to represent freedom, or a dictionary to unlock someone’s
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