What’s Behind Door Number 10101?

2 min readOct 24, 2020

The literary text I chose was “The Lake” by Ray Bradbury. I remember reading one of his short stories in the beginning of the semester called “The Veldt.” I decided to explore more of his short stories and chose to pick something that I found would be interesting. The short story is about a young man named Harold who goes through a traumatizing experience at the lake in his hometown. The setting takes place in Lake Bluff, Illinois. Twelve year old Harold and his childhood friend Tally go for a last swim in the month of September. When Harold and Tally were swimming Tally swam too far out and eventually drowned which left Harold completely heartbroken and devastated. He kept yelling her name “Tally, oh, Tally!, Tally! come back, Tally!” until he realized that “the lake would not let her return.”

Ten years later, Harold is now twenty-two years old with a wife named Margaret. Harold and Margaret met in Sacramento, California. Harold and Margaret decided to plan their honeymoon trip back to his hometown. They both decide to visit the lake where he used to swim with Tally for hours together. Suddenly, Harold sees a lifeguard stepping out of a boat with a body in his arms. He realizes…that it was Tally. The lifeguard has discovered her body ten years later! Harold states “I thought: people grow. I have grown. But she has not changed. She is still small. She is still young. Death does not permit growth or change. She still has golden hair. She will be forever young and I will love her forever, oh God, I will love her forever.” Harold grieves, and pledges his undying love for Tally. Harold begins to feel very unusual seeing Margaret realizing that Tally will always be his forever love.

I chose a castle as my Word Cloud because throughout the story Harold mentioned him and Tally building sand castles together. “I knelt and built a sand castle, shaping it fine, building it as Tally and I had often built so many of them.” The words that stand out the most to me are “water, Tally, waves, Margaret, guard, sand, wind, autumn, years, and away.” These words are bolded and I believe those terms are what really represent this short story. The color theme I chose were the blues because the terms lake, waves, sand, and especially water correlates to the color blue. I believe the typeface I chose works really well because it is legible and looks great overall. My wordcloud left me questioning “what would Harold do next?” There are no other chapters and the ending was kind of open ended. Would he go into a depression? would he leave Margaret or would he stay with her? This story was very depressing.