A Long Way from Chicago Short Essay - Answer Key

Richard Peck
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1. Describe the narrative style in A Long Way from Chicago. Who relates the stories?

The stories are all related from the first person point of view of Joey Dowdel. Now an old man, Joey looks back on summers spent with his Grandmother and sister, Mary Alice. The stories are related in the past tense and employ dialogue reflective of the dialects of rural Illinois.

2. Where are the stories in A Long Way from Chicago set? During what time period do the stories take place?

The stories are set in a small town in southern Illinois at a point between Chicago and St. Louis. Most of the stories take place around Grandma Dowdel’s house, which is on the edge of the town. The book is set during the Great Depression, from 1929 to 1935. The final story is set several years later, in 1942.

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