October 1, 2012
English Composition II
Essay 1 – Short Stories
The Father She Needed
Stephanie is thirteen years old and the difficult part of her life is just beginning. She has a mother who has gone through several marriages and none of Stephanie’s stepfathers have ever cared about her until now. Stephanie, despite constant criticism from her mother Helen, pushes herself to perfect her shot-put skills to the best of her ability with her stepfather. Over time, her relationship with her stepfather strengthens, which in turn gives her the encouragement that she wanted, and the true father figure that she desperately needed.
When Stephanie sees a shot-put match take place that her newest stepfather takes her too, she immediately falls in love. She begins to strengthen herself so much that it begins to bother her mother Helen. She is completely against Stephanie’s sport and constantly puts her down. There are many instances in which Helen opposes Stephanie’s steadfastness toward shot-put. As a former Avon consultant, her mother’s view of beauty greatly differs from Stephanie’s. Helen sees beauty as more of an outer aspect rather than inner and this the first step toward extreme conflict with Stephanie. Secondly, Helen simply speaks her opinion on the matter by telling her husband, “I have to sit alone and watch my daughter, by beautiful Stephanie, do dynamic tension to her neck and arms. Every morning while she chews her toast I look to see if facial hair has started to grow” (Apple, 132). Throughout Max Apple’s “Stepdaughters,” her mother Helen is antagonizing Stephanie for pursuing a career in shot-put and it’s because of this that her relationship with her new stepfather blossoms. Stephanie has never really developed a relationship with any of her previous fathers. She begins to develop a relationship with her new stepfather when he takes an interest in her life and introduces her to shot-put. There are many instances in the story where...