Out of the Dust Setting

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Joyce City, Oklahoma is not a city at all—although there are a few stores, a school, a community center, and a hotel—but a farming community in one of the most desolate parts of the U.S. in 1934-1935. Dust storms have ravaged the land for four years, and in this, the fifth year of drought, almost nothing has survived. Every year Billie Jo's father, Bayard, and the other farmers, have planted their fall crop of wheat, only to have most of it churned up and destroyed by continuing dust storms. Joe De La Flor, a cattleman, barely keeps his herd alive because there is nothing to feed them but tumbleweed.

Dust permeates absolutely everything, and one of the strengths of Hesse's writing in this novel is her excruciating descriptions of the pestilence of dust. Chapter after chapter the presence of dust takes its toll on...

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This section contains 356 words
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Buy the Out of the Dust Study Guide
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