The Horse Dealer’s Daughter

This presentation reviews the short story, “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter,” written by D. H. Lawrence. What appears to be a desperate situation in Mabel’s life turns out to be a moment of epiphany between her and Fergusson when they both realize that they have stumbled upon love inadvertently. It took life teetering on the edge to force them out of their routines to see each other in a different way. ?Animals the three sons and daughter of the horse dealer are compared to animals (mainly dogs and horses); the older brother, Joe, is described as a “subject animal” that is about to “marry and go into harness,” on the other hand, Fred Henry thinks of himself as an “animal which controls,” Mabel is named ” bull-dog” by her brothers. ?They are all represented by the narrator through an imagery of four horses having no sense of direction and walking in a movement that “showed a massive, slumberous strength, and a stupidity which held them in subjection. ” ? Writer describes the physical attributes of the characters ?
Inability of both the family and the horses to intelligently respond to situations which bewilder them and over which they have no control. ?Pond ?This drowning in the pond represents the summit of Mabel’s depression and confusion. The rescue, on the other hand, represents a second chance to her. ?Dead and cold. ?Dr. Fergusson had no feelings for Mabel before the incident. The narrator describes the pond as lifeless right before the doctor had entered it. Before going in, the relationship between them was dead and cold, and they had no passionate feelings for one another. Dr.
Fergusson tries to rescue Mabel for no other reason but because he was doing his job. The pond also describes Dr. Fergusson’s life as dull and pointless. His life was still and silent before he had met her. ?He was afraid to go in too deep into the pond, and was afraid of drowning. This represents his fear of falling in love. He was scared of the water because he could not swim, and also because he was scared of love. He never experienced it, so it frightened him. When he finally falls in, he felt Mabel’s clothing and pulled her up. This means that when he fell into the pond, he found love. ?Clothes When she is out of the wet and dirty clothes, she is freed from her troubles. The dirty clothes represent how she was before she fell in love. It also represents how she was suicidal and depressed. “She had on her best dress of black voile,” expresses her happiness and eagerness to start something new. Before she fell in love, she never wore clothing as elegant as this dress. This is something new to her and something she wants to try out. Her change of clothes also represents her change of personality and attitude. She changed from a quiet woman that always kept to herself, to a loving woman that is open- minded.

She now feels that there is something to live for since there is someone to love. ?Jack, in saving her life, is bound to Mabel through saving her and this is amplified by his removing her clothes and rubbing her dry. Lawrence exhibits Mabel’s life as cold, void, and depressed. Comfort was found in tending the grave of her mother. Mabel was emotionally dead. Jack Ferguson lived a routine in life. Jack was spiritually dead. Perhaps Lawrence tells us that many relationships between men and women happen, perhaps without rhyme or reason or even love.

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