Physical setting

The short story “The First Day” by Edward P. Jones takes place in Washington D.C., United States of America, as shown by the mention of the New Jersey Avenue, the two schools – Seaton Elementary and Walker-Jones – as well as Mt. Carmel Baptist Church. The entire action takes place on a September morning. The reference to Ebony magazine places the story sometime after 1945, when the first issue of the magazine was published. 

Walker-Jones is a “larger, newer school”, which the narrator immediately likes, while Seaton appears as a “timeworn sad-faced building”. However, appearances prove to be deceptive as the people at Seaton are welcoming, and the atmosphere is very friendly. It is also suggested that Seaton is in a wealt...

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