Depression and Love in The Horse Dealer's Daughter

646 Words3 Pages
The way in which events are organized in a story is important in conveying a message to the reader. In D.H. Lawrence's short story, The Horse Dealer's Daughter, the plotting of key events in Mabel's life contributes to the overall depressive effect and meaning. First, Mabel's mother dies, causing her to have extreme depression. Then, this depression leads her to seek suicide. Her seeking suicide unites her with Dr. Fergusson, who in turn becomes her lover in the end. This story explores Mabel's struggle to find an identity for herself that is not defined by her mother, to regain a sense of purpose and meaning in life. The story shows how strong an emotion love is, and how influential it can be in the lives of those with depression.
Mabel had a strong love for her mother that is evident throughout the story. Lawrence describes Mabel's way of living as, "She lived in the memory of her mother, who had died when she was fourteen, and whom she had loved." (Lawrence, 363) Mabel let her mother have strong influence in her life, even after her death. Her mother was the only person she had a strong connection with. Mabel continued to live in her memory to an extent which was not healthy. After her mothers death, she feels isolated within her own household. Having nothing in common with her three brothers, she has no one to identify with. Mabel's brothers speak to her, but they are harsh and uncaring toward her. One brother goes so far as to call her 'the sulkiest bitch that ever trod.' (Lawrence, 363) "But Mabel did not take any notice of him. They had talked at her and round her for so many years, that she hardly heard them at all." (Lawrence, 361) She does not see the point in living when she has no one to identify with in her famil...

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...8) Again, reinforcing the notion that Mabel does not know how to live a life on her own with death being the only option for being unloved.
D.H Lawrence's short story, The Horse Dealer's Daughter, shows how strong an emotion love is, and how influential it can be in the lives of those with depression. Plotting of key events in Mabel's life contributes to the melancholic effect of the story. To begin, Mabel's mother dies, causing her to have extreme depression. In turn, her depression leads her to seek escape by drowning in a pond. Her suicide attempt unites her with Dr. Fergusson, who in turn becomes her husband in the end. This story explores Mabel's struggle to overcome her tragic flaw of being unable to find an identity for herself that is not defined by her mother. The story's meaning shows how strong an influence love is, and how love can save you from despair.
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