Details of the setting put this story, published in 1965, in the world of the 1940s or 1950s. (Even if Jackson meant the story to take place in the 1960s, she is indicating that the town has a mindset and way of life of an earlier era.) First, not only does Mrs. Strangeworth walk, rather than drive, to her grocery, it is an old-fashioned market where people stand in line and place an order with the grocer who then goes and gets the goods.
By the late 1940s, this method was being replaced by the modern grocery store where a shopper pushing around a cart would select his or her own items from shelves. By the 1960s, this full service form of grocery shopping would have been a quaint throwback to a former era. A second indicator of an earlier era is that Mrs. Crane's baby is not in a stroller but in a carriage with a "lace-edged carriage cover."
Moving beyond time, there are many references that show this story is set in a small town (beyond Miss Strangeworth referring to it as a "little...
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