Here Robert and Gloria discuss where they are from (Arkansas and Texas, respectively) and we are able to get a sense of how far they have come.
The park is also a kind of escape for Robert. Even though it is in the middle of a giant, bustling city, he is able to relax there under false pretenses of "security." The contrast between the safe seclusion of the park and the urban aura of the city around it is another juxtaposition that we see continuously in Robert's life. His idea of a "private island" is really just another deflated dream; in reality he only has a tiny, public park.
"I was glad she wanted to go to the park. It was always nice there. It was very small, only one block square, but it was very dark and very quiet and filled with dense shubbery. All around it palm trees grew up, fifty, sixty feet tall, suddenly tufted at the top. Once you entered the park you had the illusion of security. I often imagined they were sentries wearing grotesque helmets: my own private sentries, standing guard over my own private island..." (9)