A Cap For Steve Essay

Topics: Morley Callaghan, The Cap, Personal life Pages: 3 (1033 words) Published: November 25, 2013
“A Little Thing Called Optimism” : Conflict and bonding in Callaghan’s “A Cap For Steve”

The conflict in “A Cap For Steve” that exists between Steve and his father relates to the theme of understanding one another, even when their opinions and way of life greatly differ from one another’s. Steve unknowingly teaches his father Dave that there is more to life than simply knowing the value of money, despite the hardships the Diamond family was faced with at the time.  Steve’s optimism conflicts with his father Dave’s realistic and practical way of living. This conflict between their personalities puts a strain on their relationship for most of the story, until the very end when they share a bonding moment and take a brief yet meaningful step into one another’s shoes. Steve and Dave both undergo great character development as they learn to appreciate and understand one another.  In Morley Callaghan’s “A Cap For Steve” the conflict between Steve’s carefree optimism and unconditional happiness in contrast to his father’s realistic views and pessimism, ultimately brings them closer together.

One major conflict between Steve and Dave, is Dave’s realistic yet negative outlook on life, versus Steve’s optimistic free spirit. This particular conflict is made very clear in the first few sentences of the story. In the first paragraph, Callaghan describes Dave as “a small, wiry, quick-tempered individual who had learned how to make every dollar count in his home” Page 2

(Callaghan 168) while in the same paragraph, Steve is characterized as “crazy about baseball, and after school when he could have been working as a delivery boy or selling papers, he played ball with the kids.” (168) Because Dave is a textbook example of a realist, Steve’s overwhelming enthusiasm for baseball, and lack of understanding of the importance of money, appalls Dave. Even when Dave agrees to take Steve to the Phillies exhibition game and sees nothing but pure joy in Steve’s face, Dave...
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