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Roadwork Study Guide & Plot Summary

This Study Guide consists of approximately 66 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Roadwork.
This section contains 493 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Roadwork Study Guide

Roadwork Summary & Study Guide Description

Roadwork Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Roadwork by Stephen King.

Plot Summary

Roadwork by Stephen King is a tragic tale about a man named Barton George Dawes and the curve ball the government throws into his ordinary and organized life. Barton and his wife Mary live at 1241 Crestallen Street West and have done so for what seems to Barton to have been forever. All of their memories, carefully constructed, and then just as carefully put away after Charlie died, are tied to this house. Looking around, Bart is reminded of Charlie every where he looks, and even though three years have passed since his young death, it still feels like yesterday. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that Bart is unable to move, and unwilling to be pushed out. Barton and Mary are given a year's notice when the plans for the highway extension are first announced. As part of the Eminent Domain clause, the government has the right to insist, and Bart and Mary are told they have no choice but to find another place to live. It grates on Bart. In fact, something in him revolts against the whole idea.

The months pass quickly, and before Bart and Mary know it, the month is November. In January they have to be out, and despite the date closing in, they still they have nowhere to live. Mary is getting nervous. She reminds Bart, but reminders are the last thing he needs. Bart is on the edge. On the outside, he functions relatively normally for the most part. He goes to work each day, and his routine is simple. Despite his seeming lack of direction though, on some level Bart is making plans. Unfortunately, the plans are not to move, and they do not include Mary. It isn't a conscious decision that Bart makes. It is as though a part of him operates entirely of it's own volition, and lately Bart is very good at separating himself from himself.

Instead of looking for a place to live, Bart secretly buys weapons, forces early retirement on himself by causing the closure of the Blue Ribbon Laundry, making absolutely no plans to move. Causing the end of his job also brings the end of his marriage, as Mary is unable to sit by and watch Bart self destruct. When she leaves, Bart slips further still. He manages to buy explosives, and when the twentieth of January finally comes, Bart is ready. He is calm, organized, but definitely not moving. Instead, he takes a stand against Eminent Domain laws. Bart decides that he will dig in, feeling like he must, convincing himself that there are no viable alternatives. At the last moment he refuses to leave, bringing media into the situation and drawing as much attention to his predicament as he can before he completes the construction crews demolition plans for them. A steady read that has the reader rooting for the underdog all the way through, Roadwork lays out the complexities of the human condition.

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This section contains 493 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Roadwork Study Guide
Roadwork from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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