Death is inescapable. In the same way, life is inescapable. The Appalachian short story, “Jake Pond”, portrays this inevitable cycle through the depiction of a young boy enjoying nature. Lou Crabtree writes of the many inner workings of life through symbolism. While some would say this story is a literal telling of a boy and his surroundings, it does, in fact, include a plethora of metaphors to display the complexities of life through figurative language (Crabtree). In Lou Crabtree’s “Jake Pond” symbols such as the young boy, black snakes, pond, hollytree, and other natural entities portray themes of life and death, while detailing multiple aspects of change.
Rather than name this young boy and immediately create barriers between the character and the reader, Crabtree purposefully leaves the boy as an ambiguous figure to represent any person. “The pond was a book of life with the boy as the learner,” the author states (Crabtree 72). While the pond, in this instance, represents all that is encompassed in life, the boy is seen as the object that is being taught. The young boy constantly goes to the pond alone, just as life is lived alone. He experiences many things on his solemn adventures to the pond. The journey made daily to the pond portrays everyday life as a choice, the boy chooses to enjoy and experience all that nature has to offer while others, such as his parents, choose to stay back and view life from a distance rather than experience it to the full.