1. What setting is introduced in Chapter 1? How would you describe Medicine Ed's circumstances in the beginning of the novel?
The main setting of the novel is Indian Mound Downs, a run-down racetrack in West Virginia in the mid -1970s. Medicine Ed is an elderly black groom that works at the track for his boss, Zeno. Medicine Ed is relatively satisfied with his circumstances because his boss is good to him and lets Medicine Ed keep his Winnebago at the track.
2. What are some examples of the author's use of simile in Chapter 1?
The author employs several similes in the chapter, comparing the hot walker to a “woebegone carnival ride” and comparing a manure pile to being “stubbled with pale dirty straw like a penitentiary haircut.” These similes lead the reader to a sense of the entrapment in the racetrack and of the horses.
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