Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

*Ohio River

*Ohio River. Major tributary of the Mississippi River that rises in western Pennsylvania and flows southwest nearly one thousand miles before joining the Mississippi. On a boat trip on the Ohio with his parents, Bruce Dudley hears the singing, conversation, and laughter of African Americans for the first time. Their daily connection with the river allows their voices to remain in touch with the world. Bruce’s return to the river as an adult spawns a connection with the river and the sense of self he lost while in Chicago.

*Mississippi River

*Mississippi River. Bruce’s trip down the Mississippi awakens his sensibility to the elemental self he lost. He rides the Mississippi to New Orleans, enjoys the shade and sounds of trees on the bank, hears the voices of African Americans, and returns to his childhood home and his place near the Ohio River.

Old Harbor

Old Harbor. Bruce’s childhood home in Indiana, to which he returns after years in Chicago. Old Harbor is a fictional town similar to the more famous Winesburg, Ohio, which Anderson depicted in greater detail in 1919. Bruce is reunited with the Ohio River and rejects newspaper work. He changes his name from John Stockton to Bruce Dudley, indicating his change of self in his old home, and experiences a personal rebirth, working with his hands varnishing automobile wheels.

Grey home

Grey home. Home of automobile wheel...

(The entire section is 609 words.)