There There Setting

Tommy Orange
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Oakland

The most important setting in the novel is the city of Oakland, California. Many of the characters are born in or move to Oakland at some point in their personal journeys, so that for many of them Oakland represents home. Dene is particularly devoted to Oakland, seeing it as his rightful inheritance and home since his Native ancestors lived in the region long before settlers arrived. It is also notably Tommy Orange’s home city, allowing him to represent his own relationship with the city in his novel.

The urban setting of Oakland also reinforces the novel’s theme of modernity and urbanity, giving the characters a chance to demonstrate what an “urban Indian” looks like away from the violent stereotypes of the reservation Indian and the tradition-bound primitive.

Within the city, different regions represent different aspects of culture and even of authenticity. Blue, who grows up in...

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This section contains 798 words
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Buy the There There Study Guide
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