In The Man Who Was Almost A Man, Dave is a boy who feels like he is an adult. The reason that he feels that he is an adult instead of a child is that he is already 17, he works and earns money. He feels that he is the same as all the adults that put in the same day’s work. But he is unhappy that although he does work and earn money the same way all the adults do, they treat him like a child. The reason he states that they treat him like a mule and then beat him is because not only does he perform the work, he doesn’t feel like he is respected. This is the reason that Dave then decides that if he gets a gun, then the others will respect him, and if they don’t respect him at that point, then he will shoot them.