A Cap for Steve - Short Story Essay

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In the story ‘A Cap for Steve’ by Morley Callahan, the character of the father, Dave struggles to provide for his family. This causes him to be easily angered and direct these negative emotions at his son. Though Dave’s hardship has made him angry and egotistical, he later on proves to fight off his insecurities and show his compassion.

Dave is trying extremely hard to support his family financially but in turn, he comes off looking very greedy and frugal. Very early on in the story, it’s shown that he is a poor man who knows the value of the dollar. His son, Steve’s “failure to appreciate that the family needed a few extra dollars…” appalled Dave. It’s also difficult for Dave because he is the only form of income in his family as “His wife, Anna, had been sick a lot…” and Steve was still in school and would much rather play baseball with his friends rather than get an afterschool job. Dave’s stinginess is tested when Steve’s favorite baseball team comes to town. Dave is hesitant to take him due to the money situation, but compromises with Steve. As they’re walking down to the game, Dave shows some affection towards his son by pretending to be excited. “…then Dave glanced at Steve’s face and, half-ashamed, took his arm more cheerfully.”

It seems that Dave’s attitude is constantly negative. This is heavily due to his financial issues and he tends to take out his anger on Steve. His mood got worse once Steve got the cap from the famous baseball player. Steve loves the cap so much; it has so much importance to him that “…he wore it from the time he got up in the morning until the time he went to bed.” This really frustrates Dave; he hates the way his son gloats about it to all of his friends. Dave is a very strict father who refuses to be crossed. He lays down the rules of the house and if any of these are broken, he will scold you. “I’ll show you you can’t start coming into the house at midnight.” Some may say that this is a bad...
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