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Cross Creek Themes

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

As in South Moon Under (1933) and The Yearling (1938), there is little connection between the immediate locale in which the book is set and the outside world. Certainly paramount among the themes is the locale itself — Cross Creek, a tiny settlement on a small creek of the same name, adjacent to Orange Lake in rural north central Florida. The people and events are real people and events that Rawlings encountered while living and working at her orange grove at Cross Creek. As in much of her other writing, Rawlings shows tough, self-reliant people whose lives are intimately bound up in their natural environment — hunting, fishing, working the groves. Rawlings provides carefully detailed descriptions of the landscape and the people. The country can be very demanding, but is nevertheless very attractive. Among it inhabitants there are knaves, but no real villains. The values of trustworthiness and hard work are promoted, but those characters who are not very trustworthy and do not work serve more as sources of amusement than anything else.