What is the setting for Ray Bradbury's short story The Lake?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Lake by Ray Bradbury is one of a collection of short stories, originally appearing in Dark Carnival. The man returns to a lake where a childhood sweetheart had drowned many years before.

The setting of The Lake includes Lake Bluff and the lake after which the town is named. The man has returned to his hometown with his new wife. It is autumn, probably early September because he indicates that "It was not quite as late in the year as that day so many years before." "Tally" had drowned  when "things are getting sad for no reason." The setting then is not static as there has been a passage of time from boy to married man.

The man notices that stalls are closing up for the onset of winter as "People were thinning out,...and the wind, as always, waited there to sing for us." There is the beach and the man craves to be alone, although his wife would not understand so he tells her nothing. The historical aspect of the setting takes the man back to when he was twelve years old and he remembers Tally on the day "the lake would not let her return." 

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