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Importance of Ponds in Crow Lake

In: Novels

Submitted By Stefany09
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In Mary Lawson’s novel Crow Lake the ponds become an important part of the plot. The pond symbolizes Kate’s childhood, the bond between Kate and Matt, and Kate’s future choice in her career.
Kate’s memories of her time at the pond connect her to various events and important moments in her life. While talking about the pond, Kate mentioned “There is no image of my childhood that I carry with me more clearly than” Matt and her younger self lying on their stomachs at the edge of a pond (4). Kate stated how important their trips became to her. At the end of the novel, when Kate and Matt take Daniel to the pond, Kate had a realization. She said “The other ponds, our pond included, are just as they have always been.” (291). After many years of thinking that her brother was a failure, that Marie Pye getting pregnant ruined his chances of going to school and becoming someone with an education. Kate comes to the conclusion that she was the one who grew apart and chose to deny that everything was there just as they have always been. It is not the ponds that changed, it was Kate herself.
The pond also became the bond that linked both Kate and Matt. Kate reminisced that when Matt first began to take her to the pond she was so small she had to be carried on Matt’s shoulders. Kate loved spending time with her brother; she liked that she came to known the creatures above and below the water. They spent endless hours there as the seasons changed until Kate grew too old to ride on her brother’s shoulder and made her way through the woods behind him. She liked that each time they made their way to the pond she would learn something new. Kate said “By the following September the ponds themselves would have been desecrated twice over, as far as I was concerned and for some years after that I did not visit them at all.” (218) she was remembering the events that occurred her finding her brother and Marie Pye at the pond, also Laurie Pye’s body being found in one of the ponds. She continued saying “And when I did, it was without Matt, and it was not the same.” (218) in her life the pond was special in itself but what truly made her happy was that each time she went Matt was by her side. She connected both the pond and Matt together more than once she said “I remember sliding down the path to ‘our’ pond in great excitement” with using the word our Kate linked both her brother Matt and the pond together.
Although Kate’s interest in marine biology was sparked by Matt’s lessons, her own intellectual curiosity grew independent of his influence. Kate expressed that as the years went by her curiosity had developed to a point where she no longer needed Matts guidance their visits to the pond stuck with Kate for many years until she realized that, that was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Kate stated “It wasn’t Crow Lake, but it might as well have been. I thought, Home.” (94) Kate is linking Crow Lake to a trip she went to in Edmonton where she is reminded of home. After the invitation for Simons party Kate had a dream of her and Matt at the pond watching a slim, streamlined little water bug called a pond skater skim across the surface, hunting for prey. After Matt explains what water tension is Kate was surprised that he thought he had to tell her something so absurdly elementary although Kate didn’t realize it her job related to the fact that she wanted to be that seven year old girl again. When analysing one of the creatures she found on a trip on a small lake north in Ontario Kate remembered that she knew Notonecta well from her years with Matt in her work Matt and the pond always come up. Kate states “I had not consciously thought about the ponds for some years, but now they came back to me, vividly” she felt grief towards the creatures and how they die she thinks of the pond and says “I imagined myself, going back to them one day in the future, looking into their depths and seeing…..nothing”(191). Kate mentioned “I suppose you could say that my choice was inevitable and was set long before I came across that single, dead bug” (191) she then realized that, that little Notonecta sparked something in her, and gave her back that purpose she never knew she was missing. As her thoughts went to the pond and Matt she knew that her choice was set long before that. Kate’s interest came from Matt she say’s “Without him I would not have seen that. I would never have realized that the lives which played themselves out in front of us every day were wonderful, in the original sense of the word. I would have observed, but I would have not wondered.”(199) Kate has a momentarily flashback in one of her lectures she thinks of Matt and the pond and how Matt should be in her place giving the lecture instead of her. Kate’s inspiration always came from the two things she loved most the ponds and Matt.
In conclusion the pond played a huge role in the plot. It symbolized Kate’s childhood, her strong bond with her brother Matt and finally led to her in choosing Marine biology as her future career.

Works Cited
Lawson, Mary. Crow Lake, Canada: Vintage Canada, 2010, Print.

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