Dave: father, small, wiry, quick tempered, values every nickel, poor

Steve: son, twelve years old, big eyes, small, shy, worried


-Importance of money, very beginning, helps develop protagonist.  Money come theme throughout the story.

-Dave`s pride hurt from Mr. Hudson; who is a very powerful and wealthy ,man.  Dave cannot compare himself to all of what Mr. Hudson has.

-Dave chooses Mr. Hudson`s twenty dollars over his son`s happiness.  Fails to realize the importance of the cap to his son, takes the money thinking that both him and his son feel similarly about the power of the money.


-Steve puts all of his faith in his dad, he is very fearful of the entire situation, and looks for his father`s help.  Dave lets him down in the end.

-Sees the real power of money, and how much of an effect is has on everyone.  First instance where life is not fair, witnesses his father getting handled by another man.

-Matures from both situations, breaking away from innocence, development of character

-Enchantment surrounding the cap, the position and leadership he gained after he got it.  All power and importance stripped when cap was lost for good.


-Weak relationship between Dave and Steve until the end.  Events, though at the time seemed terrible, brought them closer together.

-Steve`s growth.  Very jealous man in the beginning; envies both Mr. Hudson, and Mr. Condon.   Learns that money is not everything, son shows him that.

-Sees son in a different light compared to the beginning of the story.  Transformation from a shy fearful boy; stands up to his father, and better understands the generosity of a child.

-Sees forgiveness in a new light.  Steve helps him grow, along with own maturation.


In the short story, A Cap for Steve, Callaghan uses the story to show the power of money and pride, which opens our eyes to the disillusions of a young boy, and leads to the growth of his father.

author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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