The Midwest of America is founded on disrespect and environment damage. In the the late 1800s capitalists found out there was coal and other raw materials in the ground to make iron, tires, rubber, you name it. The capitalists built giant factories and steel mills along rivers and poured the toxics from the factories into the rivers. In less than a hundred years industrialization had destroyed what millions of slow evolution took to make.
The difference between the Midwest and say New York City or Boston or the American West is that people came to the Midwest often from struggling areas of the planet, the Italians came to escape Mussolini’s fascism, eastern europeans to escape the Soviet Union and abject poverty. And African-Americans left the horrors of the Jim Crow south to find work. This is very different from the dreamers who went to Boston or NYC or to the American West. The ancestors of the Midwest are commonly people trying to escape horror, and probably suffering from PTSD from the terrors they experienced.
In Walls Andrew Worthington starts off painting us a picture of industrialization and its decaying infrastructure, the reader will probably react with, “What,” but to tell a story about the Midwest, the reader has to know that a monster once tore through the land and left it in pieces, but humans still live there, living, working, eating, trying to have fun amongst the ruins.
The story concerns Tom, a young man in his mid-twenties. He has gone off to live in New York City and has a boring job working for the local transportation department. He needs to go to the dentist which leads to him returning to Ohio after two years. The crux of this whole novel involves a dentist appointment, but in the novel we never see him go to the dentist.