In Jesse Stuart’s “Split Cherry Tree”, he creates characters with an exact purpose to portray a bigger lesson. The message of the story is to be open to change and the possibilities that come with it. The boy in the story, Dave, is seen as vulnerable and weak. Just as the story begins, Dave says “Pa will whip me anyway for getting home two hours late” (Stuart 1), as if it is a normal routine that happens daily. Also, the author writes “I couldn’t ask Professor Herbert to loan me a dollar. He never offered to loan it to me. I had to stay and help the janitor and work out my fine at a quarter an hour” (Stuart 1). Dave is identified as hardworking and he is willing to accept consequences after making a mistake. Due to the description of Dave as a powerless boy, Jesse Stuart is able to illustrate his father, Luster, to juxtapose him. Unlike his son, Luster is seen and described as a larger and more confident man, as well as being dominant. As Stuart describes the confrontation scene between the father and the teacher, Luster is portrayed as intimidating to not only Dave, but Professor Herbert as well. Luster influences the story by being a contrasting character which allows Professor Herbert to teach the lesson. Stuart writes “‘Yes,’ says Pa, pulling out his gun and laying it on the seat in Professor Herbert’s office” (Stuart 2). By portraying Luster as a daunting man, it creates tension and allows the author to form duties within the characters. For example, Dave’s duty is to be the motive and reasoning that Luster initially recognizes change. Similarly, Professor Herbert functions as the protagonist and demonstrates the significance of change within all aspects of life, specifically in education. Professor Herbert says “Stay with me today and I’ll show you. I want to take you through the school anyway! School has changed a lot since you went to school” (Wright 3). Professor Herbert is willing to put his fear of Luster aside and show him the changes of the school. Not only does this show the teacher’s dedication to changing Luster’s outlook on the education system, it also shows that he is compassionate. Correspondingly, Professor Herbert allows Dave to go home with his father and skip cleaning the school which he was doing to pay the dollar he owed. Professor Herbert is understanding of Dave and his responsibilities that he has at home. As well, the professor recognizes that Dave is apologetic and has owned up to his mistake. Both Professor Herbert and Dave are the reasoning that Luster acknowledges revisions made in the school.