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Setting and themes are an important part of any kind of story such as a short story, paragraph, or even a novel because they will bring an effect and atmosphere to the story. Firstly, the common meaning of setting itself is the time and place of the story in which the moments or scene happens and is usually introduced during the beginning of the text. Moreover, it also shows the social context of characters, such as their families, friends, customs, beliefs, and rules of behavior (Richard Gill, 1985). For example, in ‘Everyday Use’ by Alice Walker “A yard like this is more comfortable than most people know. It is not just a yard. It is like an extended living room. When the hard clay is swept clean as a floor and the fine sand around the edges lined with tiny, irregular grooves, anyone can come and sit and look up into the elm tree and wait for the breezes that never come inside the house. “ as we can see, the first scene in this story is in their yard while they are waiting for Dee to return (Maggie’s sister). Mama’s yard is an extended living room which might mean the floor is dirt ground that flows into the small shack without separation. Indirectly, it shows their family’s financial condition that they don’t have enough money to build a good or big living room in their house. However, when compared to ‘The Rocking Horse Winner’ story by D.H. Lawrence “There was a boy and two little girls. They lived in a pleasant house with a nice garden. They had good servants, and felt themselves better than anyone in the neighborhood.” Some stories and some authors, usually introduce the setting in the beginning but in this story, the author starts with the condition and feelings of the character then the author continues with the setting, from the setting people might assume that the boy and the girls have rich parents and have a big or beautiful house with a nice garden in their house and constantly it shows that they have a good or stable financially so they can achieve a nice house to live for. The second setting in Everyday Use is “I have deliberately turned my back on the house. It has three rooms, just like the one that burned, except the roof is tin; they don’t make shingle roofs any more. There are no real windows, just some holes cut in the sides, like the portholes in a ship, but not round and not square, with rawhide holding the shutters up on the outside.” Here the author shows the condition of Mama and Maggie’s house, it shows that they don’t even have enough money to repair their burned house.

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Secondly, the author needs to show the theme of the story because the theme is evident in the settings by looking at the words (Richard Gill, 1985). Furthermore, themes an ideas about life outside the work – about the real world, our world – that we draw from works of literature – not just from fiction but from literature of all genres (Kelley Griffith, 2011). The theme is also defined as the main idea or underlying meaning of a literary work and there are two types of themes major and minor themes. A major theme is the most significant idea of the work meanwhile the minor theme is a brief idea. The theme is not a summary of the story because is not what the text is about but the theme is discussed in the text or portrayed in it in some way (Nicholas Marsh,1987). The author of ‘Everyday Use’ truly shows that Dee’s family still keeps cultural roots in their daily lifestyle, such as when Dee decides to change her name and connect it with African roots. The second theme is materialism, it shown by Dee when she wants to take the quilts and the hand-crafted benches with her. It shows her materialism and it contrasts with her mother and sister, who valued those things and wanted to keep them for the next generations. Next, the author shows the family conflict between Dee and her mother, Dee feels confused with her Mom’s statement about heritage regarding the quilts and other household items from their ancestors. Because in Dee’s perception, it is just things that are left by their ancestor and have a priceless meaning it is better to hang the quilts than to use them. The materialism and greedy themes are also found in ‘The Rocking-Horse Winner’ story when the Mom worries about their future finances in the house and feels anxious if she does not have enough money to live the lifestyle that they do since their father has an expensive in his tastes but not able to do anything worth doing and their mom who thought highly of herself and also having a posh taste. It makes the house filled with the unspoken words “’There must be more money! There must be more money!’ The children could hear it at Christmas when the expensive and wonderful toys filled the playroom. Behind the shining modern rocking horse, behind the smart doll’s house, a voice would say quietly, ‘There must be more money! There must be more money!’”. It shows the love of money for their mom and feeling not fulfilled enough of herself and her family’s needs. The author shows that the love between their Mom and Father is incompatible because their mom always says that she and her husband have no luck in anything, she defines luck as ‘having money’ but instead of looking for the reason why they have no ’luck’ in anything, she blames her husband for their family conditions. The next theme is luck and hard work, his Mom asks Paul if he was born lucky or not because God chooses randomly the person to have luck. His Mom believes that if she were lucky she would be rich and never worry about working and financially. It causes his mom to centralize luck rather than hard work to earn some money, even though she tries to work and make an income it is still not enough for her cause it can’t cover her spending. However, instead of less spending or working more, she still blames her husband for not being a lucky person.

To sum up, the theme and settings are important tools in a story or even a movie. Setting can affect the plot of the story and it can create a mood for the story (Franz Fitzsimmons,…). The theme is a central or essential idea in a text (Neil King & Sarah King, 2002). 

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