After reading "The Horse Dealer's Daughter", the English class was asked: The pond is a major symbol in the story. Examine its symbolic value by providing quotations from the story. Discuss whether it always symbolizes the same thing whenever used or whether it is polysemic. What really happens in the pond? Here is my response:
In the story before the scene of the pond and there on after, it shows that the pond symbolizes rebirth and love. Mabel and the doctor catch each other's eyes and then eventually, he'll risk his life to save Marbel who almost drowns in the "motionless water." Mabel purposefully tries to drown herself because she wants to be happy and start something new. The pond is used as a symbol of rebirth for both characters- a rebirth of love and happiness. They entered the "dead water" and came out with a "relief to be out of the clutches of the pond." Seeing that the pond can symbolize rebirth leading to love and happiness, I would say that the pond can be polysemic.