What is the climax of the story "Okay for Now" by Gary Schmidt?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The climax of "Okay for Now" occurs when police arrive at the Swieteck home to announce that the person who stole Joe Pepitone's jacket has called to confess. Although the confession was anonymous, the jacket was returned and the police will not be pursuing a hearing against Doug's brother, Christopher. In addition to the jacket, the thief returned Doug's stolen Babe Ruth baseball and the goods taken from the hardware store. This moment is triumphant for Christopher and Doug, who have endured the brunt of the tension in the family after Christopher's arrest.

As a result of Christopher's proven innocence, Principal Peattie calls Doug into his office to apologize for all of the negative things he said about Doug and his family. He agrees to give Doug the Brown Pelican plate from the Autobon Society, nearly completing the library's collection. This moment is a personal triumph for Doug and it reflects the culmination of all his hard work and optimism throughout the story. The retrieval of the plate seems at first to be an anti-climax when Mr. Powell informs Doug that the only remaining missing plate was purchased by an anonymous collector. Despite the fact that this means Doug is unable to complete the official collection, Mr. Powell uses his drawing of the last plate as a replacement. In this way, the climax of the story symbolizes the message of realism woven throughout the text. In real life, resolutions are rarely perfect but, like Doug's rendering of the last plate, they can be more than satisfying for their own purposes.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial