Two of the themes in Star Girl are conformity and individuality. Keeping this in mind, what is the significance of the following passage?
"Then in one day after school I followed her. I kept at a safe distance. Since she was known not to take the bus, I expected the walk to be short. It wasn't. We trekked all over Mica, past hundreds of grassless stone-and-cactus front yards, through the Tudorized shopping center, skirting the electrons business park around which the city had been invented a mere fifteen years before."
To fully understand this question, let's define a few terms:
Theme: the subject, main concept, or topic of a piece
Conformity: behavior that is in accordance with socially accepted standards and rules
Individuality: the quality or character of a person that distinguishes him or her from others of the same kind
Now we can look at this passage and its significance:
"she was not known to take the bus": Star Girl's actions are non-conformist to the degree that they draw the attention of other characters; people notice that she does not take the bus.
"I expected the walk to be short. It wasn't": The stark difference between the narrator and the individualistic girl he is following is highlighted by what he, a typical citizen, would expect and what she, a non-conformist, actually does.
"hundreds of grassless stone-and-cactus front yards": Her individualism is highlighted by the fact that they go past houses all decorated in the same way--they are literally bypassing conformity.