Time setting

The short story “Deportation at Breakfast” was published in 1991. The short story is probably meant to be read as contemporary to the time when the story was written, even though the price of a full breakfast is unusually low – the narrator is tempted by the $1 breakfast and later orders an omelette for $1.59. This suggests that the diner might be located in a poor neighborhood.

The short story remains relevant today, as illegal immigration is still an important issue in America.

The events in the short story take place during one morning and last a little over an hour. The narrator comes inside the diner before seven thirty and, by eight-thirty, he has already taken Javier’s place, serving many customers – “By eight-thirty, I had my hands full.”

Physical setting

The presence of the diner, a typical American establishment, indicates that the action probably takes place in the US. As the author’s other stories usually take place in Los Angeles, this might also be the case in “Deportation at Breakfast.”

The main physical setting in the story is the diner “Clara’s”, which is described in detail by the narrator. The place looks “better than most – family-run and clean”, which appeals to the narrator. The signs on the windows are “hand-lettere...

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