Study Guide

Freak the Mighty Memory and the Past

By Rodman Philbrick

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Memory and the Past

You want to talk about the past? Freak the Mighty has it all: avoiding it, altering it, and straight up facing it. Max is so haunted by his memories of the past that he tries to totally block them from his mind. Compare this to Freak, who tries to remember everything—even things that never actually happened. See, Freak knows he won't get to make memories for long, so he relishes the ones he has. And we're pretty sure Max will do the same; he may not have Freak anymore, but he has the memories of all the time they spent together.

Questions About Memory and the Past

  1. How much can we trust Max's memory of the events in the book? Is he a reliable narrator or an unreliable narrator?
  2. What are the effects of Max's past on his life? Does it control him? Or does he have control over it?
  3. Do you agree with Freak that memory is an invention? What does he even mean by that?
  4. Has Max finally overcome the trauma of his past by the end of the book? Or does he still have more to face?

Chew on This

All the characters in Freak the Mighty are hiding from their past in some way.

Max's grandparents blame Max for what happened to their daughter.

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