All the Pretty Horses

What is the meaning and use of change in setting behind John Grady Cole going to his moms play?

What is the significance in the change in setting for John? What is the significance of him going to his moms play?

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The change in the setting of the play and theatre is a new world that John enters into. Although merely a play, it represents a reality of his mother's life that John has not been privy to.  His mother is often gone in the months that follow. One night, he journeys to San Antonio to see her act in a play. He watches the show intently, hoping that "there would be something in the story itself to tell him about the way the world was or was becoming" but he finds nothing, "nothing in it at all." Later that night, he sees his mother in the lobby of the hotel with a well-dressed man on her arm. He asks the hotel clerk to look for a Mrs. Cole in his book, but the clerk finds no one by that name registered.