An analysis of the short story “Joy Ride” by Toni Pivac shows that the narrative is structured around Whata’s secret ride in his uncle’s car. However, what begins as a joyride  ends up being a coming of age experience. 

The main character of the short story is Whata, a young boy, who thinks he is going for a quick ride in his uncle’s car.

The story’s physical setting is an unnamed place in New Zealand. Throughout the narrative, Whata is in his uncle’s car. The burial ground, where Uncle Dave stops the car, is symbolic of Whata’s loss of innocence and coming of age experience. The social setting looks at how families deal with death. 

The events are described by a third-person narrator, who adopts Whata’s perspective. The perspective of a child makes the story more moving and helps readers empathize with Whata. 

The language is neutral and easy to understand, mostly because the events are presented from the perspective of a child. Several symbols are introduced in the story to enhance its meaning. 

A full analysis of the short story can be found in the following pages.