Upstream Setting & Symbolism

Oliver, Mary
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Forest Near Oliver's Childhood Home

Oliver was born in Maple Heights, Ohio near Cleveland and she speaks of running off into a forest instead of going to school. There are large woodland areas in the neighboring Walton Hills and Valley View. Oliver read her books, and especially Whitman’s poetry, here in her younger years. She also built houses from twigs, grass, and leaves that she liked to sit in.

Great Pond

The ponds near Oliver’s home were formed by glacial movement. There are several places called Great Pond on Cape Cod, so it is difficult to identify exactly which Oliver speaks of. The one in Truro, the town next to Oliver’s home, has an area of 17 acres, and a maximum depth of 35 feet. The ground is of sand, and it is a place for birdwatching and swimming. Oliver walks here with her dogs, and she...

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This section contains 715 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Upstream Study Guide
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