Physical setting

The events described in the short story “Joy Ride” by Toni Pivac take place somewhere in New Zealand. This is indicated by Maori names like Hemi and Whata and by the reference to “kina” (l. 11), a sea urchin eaten in New Zealand. 

Some of the events take place right outside Whata’s house. He mentions that “the lawn needed a mow” (ll. 18-19) and that there is no one able to mow the grass anymore. On the lawn, Whata picks up some daisies and makes a bouquet for his mother: “Maybe Mum'd like them, he thought. Mum liked flowers lately; there were always heaps of them in their house now” (ll. 23-24). The unkempt lawn and the flowers hint that Whata’s father has probably died, but the boy is not aware of it. 

Uncle Dave’s car is also an ...

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