Drowning Ruth Setting & Symbolism

Christina Schwarz
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Nagawaukee

Amanda Starkey and Mathilda Starkey Neumann's fictional home town in the region of Milwaukee, WI, Nagawaukee is where most of the novel is set. The town's chief venues include: the train station, which is on the route to to St. Paul, Sioux Falls, Pocatello, and Spokane; Heinzelman's Bait and Tackle shop, run by the Lindgrens; the Post Office run by Ramona Mueller, which is a major center of gossip; and the Starkey family farm on Glacier Rd. overlooking Lagauwaukee Lake.

Much of the characters' time is spent on a dark island sitting in the northeast corner of Taylor's Bay, and the green-roofed house that Mathilda, Carl, and Amanda build and share before World War I. Amanda considers it her personal island and allows others to visit reluctantly. Mathilda drowns crossing the ice in November. Late in the novel, in 1937, a dance arena opens on the lake shore...

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This section contains 771 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Drowning Ruth Study Guide
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