Why is Dave confident that Pa will change his mind about the school in "Split Cherry Tree"?

In the beginning of "Split Cherry Tree," Dave is not confident that Pa will change his mind about the school and is actually concerned his father will pull out a gun. After Pa and Dave's teacher discuss with each other, Pa's attitude noticeably changes and Dave becomes more confident that he will change his mind about the school.

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Dave is not at all confident at first that his father will change his mind about the school. He is nervous that his father will pull a gun on his teacher, Professor Herbert. He wishes his father wouldn't go to the school with him, as Dave feels it is not...

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Dave is not at all confident at first that his father will change his mind about the school. He is nervous that his father will pull a gun on his teacher, Professor Herbert. He wishes his father wouldn't go to the school with him, as Dave feels it is not a place he will fit in easily. He knows he can tell his father that school has changed a lot, but doesn't know if that will do any good.

As they walk to school together, Dave is nervous but hopeful. He thinks:

Maybe Pa will find out Professor Herbert is a good man. He just doesn't know him. Just like I felt toward the Lambert boys across the hill. I didn't like them until I'd seen them and talked to them.

Dave's confidence in his father's ability to change his mind about the school grows as he sees that Professor Herbert and his father are hitting it off. Dave's father is willing to listen carefully to what the teacher has to say and to try to learn from him. By the time his teacher and his father sit down to lunch together, Dave is confident that all will be well, thinking:

He would find out about the high school as I had found out about the Lambert boys across the hill.

Dave is right. Actually seeing what is going on in the school with his own eyes raises his father's appreciation for what Dave is learning, which is much different from his own very basic schooling. Dave's father comes away supportive of his son's education.

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