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I would say that the major theme of Ethan Canin's Star Food is the clash between practicality and dreaming when it comes to thinking of the future. 

While the young Dade doesn't really know what he wants for himself and does want to help his parents and make them proud, he is pretty sure that he doesn't want to inherit the Star Food  grocery store and work there for the rest of his life. We can see that Dade's inner struggle between practicality and the possibility of achieving his dreams stems...

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