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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 her father openly supports her shot-putting. First of all, he ants to develop a real lasting relationship with Stephanie and Helen, and because he openly supports Stephanie, she begins to trust him and consider him a true father figure. One instance of this is that at the beginning of “Stepdaughters,” he gives her a poster of the band Genesis in hopes that “it would signify a beginning for the three of us” (Apple, 129). Secondly, he is so steadfast in supporting her dream that at the end of the story he explains “[Stephanie] has a lot to throw away, this stepdaughter of mine; in eight-pound chunks she might be able to manage it, maybe all the way to the Olympics” (Apple, 135).
In the end he supports her and he always will. Despite the confrontation between Stephanie and her mother, he is always there to back her up as she pursues her dream. This was the perfect time when Stephanie needed a father figure; not just to provide for her, but to love, care, and support her in whatever she does. If Stephanie were to start up shot-put, when her mother was single, her dream might have been abruptly ended by her mother opposition to it. Stephanie’s new stepfather was the person to introduce to her a sport that she loves and become the father that she never had.
In the sum of it all Stephanie is at a povital point in her life, and her mother may oppose her dream for a long time. But because her new father that she is just getting to know supports her, she may have it a little easier through her new few years than they would be without him. Stephanie tells her father near the end of the story, “You can pack up whatever you want. You don’t have to put up with us. You must know by now that this not is going to stop…. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got for the next three years and you can bet that Mom’s going to fight me every inch.
Life around this house is not going to be a picnic” (Apple, 134). Stephanie has seen so many stepfathers come and go that she’s basically saying that she wouldn’t be surprised if he left her too. As he has proved throughout the story, he not going anywhere. He is there to stay because he cares for her and he cares for her mom. She is working steadfastly toward a goal and her father will stand by her side every step of the way. Works Cited Apple, Max. “Stepdaughters. ” The Norton Introduction to Literature. Alsion Booth and Kelly J. Mays. 10th ed. NY: WW Norton, 2010. 129-135.
Print. Outline Thesis: In Max Apple’s “Stepdaughters,” Stephanie, despite constant criticism from her mother Helen, pushes herself to perfect her trade 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. Body Paragraph I. Stephanie’s begins to clash with her mother because Helen’s view of beauty greatly differs from Stephanie’s. When Stephanie, starting shot-put, her mother Helen became very critical and annoyed.
Her relationship with her father helps her deal with this. A. Helen used to work as an Avon consultant and her view of beauty greatly differs from the narrator’s and Stephanie’s. (Page 132, Paragraph 60) B. Helen disapproves of Stephanie’s love of shot-put. (Page 132, Paragraph 59) C. Helen is also very critical about Stephanie’s choice. (Page 132, Paragraphs 76, 77) Body Paragraph II. 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.
A. Stephanie’s new father has a desire to make lasting relationships with her and her mother. (Page 129, Paragraphs 11-15) B. Stephanie is introduced to shot-put by her stepdad. (Page 130, Paragraph 15 C. Stephanie’s relationship with her stepdad begins to blossom when he takes a real interest in her life and her activities. The conflict with her mother helps to strengthen the bond between her and her stepdad, because he supports her, when her mother does not. (Page 134, Paragraph 89; Page 135, Paragraph 92) Conclusion