Summary and Analysis
Chapter 11 - Steve
In response to Ronnie's outburst, Steve and Jonah build a plywood wall in the alcove to block the piano. They go kite flying afterwards.
With an afternoon storm approaching, Steve calls Jonah inside. On their way back to the house, Steve notices loggerhead turtle tracks, and they follow the tracks to a nest of eggs buried in the sand behind their house. As they are talking about endangered and extinct animals, the phone rings. It is Ronnie calling from the police station.
Officer Pete explains the charges to Steve. Although Ronnie insists she did not do it, she refuses to identify who did. Steve tells her, "I believe you." Back home, Steve and Ronnie talk on the beach. Steve makes a distinction between trust and love. Ronnie asks about protecting the nest from raccoons, and her father says she has to have faith.
Steve calls the local aquarium to get a cage, but Ronnie is concerned for the well-being of the eggs, so she camps out all night to protect them. Steve is restless and concerned, but eventually checks on Ronnie before going to bed.
Jonah notices that after they build the plywood wall, the room is smaller and Steve will be unable to play, two sacrifices Steve makes for his daughter, even if she does not immediately realize their significance.
Storm clouds approach while Steve and Jonah are on the beach — two storms are actually coming, one literal and one metaphorical.
On the surface, Steve's comments about faith are in regards to the raccoons and the eggs; but the comment also refers to Steve's faith in his daughter, her faith in him and others, and his faith in God. In fact, faith, along with trust and love, are themes that recur throughout the novel.
Steve's explanation to Ronnie regarding his reason for building the wall around the piano ties into Steve's belief that people should be judged by their actions. His actions are purely selfless here, although it will take some time for Ronnie to realize this.
Steve's reaction to Ronnie's arrest is a turning point in his relationship with Ronnie. He does not call Kim immediately or overreact, but he trusts her — something Ronnie will soon come to appreciate.
Stoic of or pertaining to the school of philosophy founded by Zeno, who taught that people should be free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and submit without complaint to unavoidable necessity
Scapular a loose, sleeveless monastic garment, hanging from the shoulders
Cumulous relating to a cloud of a class characterized by dense individual elements in the form of puffs, mounds, or towers, with flat bases and tops that often resemble cauliflower
Loggerhead a large-headed sea turtle, now greatly reduced in number
Pod the name for a small herd, or group, of dolphins
The thematic topics of faith, love, and friendship intertwine throughout The Last Song. Which of these is the most important? Why?
Love is always the most important. Without love of any kind — whether it's romantic love, family love, love between friends, love of certain activities — life has little meaning. The Last Song is a novel that explores the importance of all of these.