Physical setting

Since "The New Girl" by Marc Mitchell was published in 2001, it is likely that the biographical event the story is based on took place in the late 1970s or early 1980s, as the narrator states that he recounts the story 20 years later. This theory about the time setting is also supported by the references to "Hall and Oates" (p. 22, l. 1), a band which was created in 1970 and was at its most popular in the late 1970s.  

The events take place on Prospect Street, an area in the white neighborhood where the children live. The name of the street is ironic, as it suggests the idea of new-found opportunities when, in fact, the place does not want to welcome the African-American girl and her family:

“Prospect Street was in a white, lower-middle-class neighborhood. Most of the houses were about seventy years old, of simple, sturdy design. There were a few thick trees with gnarled trunks, but mostly there were short, squat shrubs that provided little shade.” (p. 22, ll. 15-18)

The setting also helps reveal the personality of the people living there. The houses are old and simple, and the trees are short, hinting at how the people there think. These elements could suggest their traditional co...

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