In ''Once More to the Lake,'' which instances of descriptive language or sensory details best convey the sense of setting?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As you reread the essay, I think you want to pay attention to a couple of things.  Look at White's description of the lake from his point of view as a child to how he describes it now.  Examine how he talks of the simplicity of the lake then in comparison to the speed boats and people now.  There is language of simplicity as a child that is not present in the modern setting.  I would pay attention to the language and details that reflect this.  Another set of language and details I would pay attention to is the idea of change over time.  There is a wistful sense to the essay that talks about how White has changed.  When he was visiting the lake as a child, he was a child and remembers this conception.  This is where his pain exists now.  Time is beginning to take its toll on White, and he is finding it hard to recreate those memories, indicating time's passage.  I would pay attention to these images and details.  This is shown in the fishing rod moment, when he sees someone else embodying what he used to be.  The language or details that address the themes of change and time help convey the essence of the setting of the lake.

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