Doug Sweiteck In Gary D. Schmidt's Okay For Now

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Abusive father, criminal brother, one can imagine how Doug has a difficult life. Moving to Marysville, New York from Long Island, New York, Doug, the main character of Gary D. Schmidt’s Okay For Now, does not expect to have much to look forward to in his new life. Doug Sweiteck is used to only negative interactions with adults, but in Marysville he realizes that not all adults treat him like a criminal, the way he is used to. These warm-hearted people that show Doug the sympathy he desperately needs in his life include the teacher Mr. Ferris, librarian Mr. Powell, and company owner, Mr. Ballard.
Mr. Ferris, Doug’s science teacher, talks to Doug in terms of science, but uses it to describe to Doug life lessons. For example, Doug’s brother
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Big Bucks Ballard was an idiot … he … leaves all the real work to the little guy and… sits back and enjoys the prophets,” (Okay For Now, pg. 152) says Doug’s dad. Doug expects Mr. Big Bucks Ballard to be a jerk and cheap-skate the way his dad describes him to be, but the expectations could not be more opposite of the real thing. While Mr. Ferris and Mr. Powell show Doug kindness by teaching him lessons to get him through life, Mr. Ballard, just as important, acts simply nice to Doug. By giving Doug an orchid to give to his mom, and a new jacket to wear, Mr. Ballard shows Doug only only politeness, but how to give, without expecting anything in return. These hidden instructions make Doug a better person, and propel him along on his journey into a better state of mind.
Mr. Ferris, Mr. Powell, and Mr. Ballard all express to Doug the sympathy and kindness he lacks in his everyday life. Mr. Ferris helps Doug with his social life, instructing him to reject the stereotypes into which he has been placed . Mr. Powell advises Doug on his family life, teaching him to use the difficulties presented by his dad as fuel to get where he wants to go, and Mr. Ballard disciplines Doug on manners and how to show others the kindness he has been shown. All of these things play a major impact on Doug’s transformation from the beginning of the book to the
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