I Know This Much Is True Setting & Symbolism

Wally Lamb
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Three Rivers is the primary location for the novel. It is a New England town, incorporated in 1653 after the Wequonnoc Nation wars with neighboring Nipmucks, Pequots, Narragansetts, and white settlers. The white population grows steadily and legally, while the Indian reservation shrinks and their numbers dwindle. The small Indian cemetery contains graves of both assimilated Indians and warriors down through Vietnam. At the Falls on the Sachem River, young people party and take risks. There are suicides and accidents, including Penny Ann Drinkwater in the 1950s and Thomas Birdsey in 1992.

The novel pictures Three Rivers in 1992, the 1950s and 60s, and in the first decades of the 20th century. In the present day, 1992, narrator Dominick Birdsey travels around town between his condo, his boyhood home on Hollyhock Ave., his house painting clients' house, his psychologist's office in a strip mall, Constantine Motors, owned by his...

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This section contains 1,629 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the I Know This Much Is True Study Guide
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