Theme Analysis of D.H. Lawrence's The Horse Dealer's Daughter

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Theme Analysis of D.H. Lawrence's “The Horse Dealer's Daughter”

Many authors are recognized by a reoccurring theme found throughout their works. The author D.H. Lawrence can be classified into this group. He is well known for his reoccurring theme that romantic love is psychologically redeeming. He wrote “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” , a short story that exemplifies this theme quite accurately, in 1922 (Sagar 12). Through excellent use of symbolism in “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter”, Lawrence renders his theme of romantic love being psychologically redeeming through the emotional development of the two main characters, Mabel and Dr. Fergusson.

In “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter,” symbols are used to fulfill the quest of happiness and love. This love story has many symbols, which show hidden meaning. One can fully understand a story, if one can point out certain symbols. Symbols create ideas and images for the reader to better understand the story. (Symbol)Mabel, one of the two main characters in this story, is depressed and suicidal. After her mother died, she feels like there is nothing to live for. Her mother was the love and joy in her life; without her, she is lost. All she has left is her house, which she is extremely proud of, and her brother, which she seems not to care for. She decides to release herself from her troubles by drowning herself in a pond. The other main character, Dr. Fergusson, sees her and tries to save her life. This pond is a strong symbol with many meanings. It is a start of a new experience, and a change of two people’s lives.

The pond is described as dead and cold. This symbolizes that 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.

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