Comparing Death in D.H. Lawrence’s The Horse Dealer’s Daughter and Katherine Mansfield’s The Garden

Comparing Death in D.H. Lawrence’s The Horse Dealer’s Daughter and Katherine Mansfield’s The Garden

Length: 1662 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Comparing Death in D.H. Lawrence’s The Horse Dealer’s Daughter and Katherine Mansfield’s The Garden Party


Controlling the movements of the short stories, death is a regnant theme in D.H. Lawrence’s “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” and Katherine Mansfield’s “The Garden Party.” Death brings forth consciousness and it excites the need for an epiphany within the protagonists. To a lesser extent, death creates tremors in the worlds of the antagonists. Death furthermore makes the indifferences of the secondary characters more pronounced. Affecting the lives of the protagonists, the antagonists, and the secondary characters of these two short stories, death plays an integral role in the themes of these works.

Lawrence’s “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” was originally called “The Miracle,” marking the protagonist’s rebirth of love out of death. Mabel, the twenty-seven year old spinster, is revived physically and spiritually after her submergence in the “dead cold pond” (2337). For a decade, Mabel played housekeeper for her “ineffectual brothers” and although she was not happy, the “sense of money…kept her proud, confident”(2334). After the death of Mabel’s father, the family’s horse-dealing business collapses and Mabel becomes “mindless and persistent, [enduring] from day to day” (2335). Distant from her brothers and receiving no visitors other than dealers and “coarse men” (2334), Mabel concludes that her life is like a barren field. Even though Mabel reassures herself that she “would always hold the keys of her own situation” (2335), she has already died a spiritual death – a death that is mirrored by the imageries of the desolate house and the “sloping, dank, winter-dark fields” (2334). Mabel does not have any hopes for ...


... middle of paper ...


... resonates throughout both short stories and it spurs the growths of the protagonists and antagonists, characters who reach new heights of understanding about themselves and others. These characters are also able to resolve the peace with death, the purgative process that transforms them. The secondary characters in these two stories are unfazed by death, thus uncovering their insensitivity towards the loss of others. Albeit tragic in many ways, “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” and “The Garden Party” reveal glimmers of hope and humanity in the shadow of death.

Works Cited

Lawrence, D.H. “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter.” 1922. Norton Anthology of English Literature. 7th ed. 2 vols. New York: Norton, 2000, 2: 2330-2341.

Mansfield, Katherine. “The Garden Party.” 1921, 1922. Norton Anthology of English Literature. 7th ed. 2 vols. New York: Norton, 2000, 2: 2423-2433.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Feminist Struggle in Katherine Mansfield’s Short Stories

- Katherine Mansfield belongs to a group of female authors that have used their financial resources and social standing to critique the patriarchal status quo. Like Virginia Woolf, Mansfield was socioeconomically privileged enough to write influential texts that have been deemed as ‘proto-feminist’ before the initial feminist movements. The progressive era in which Mansfield writes proves to be especially problematic because, “[w]hile the Modernist tradition typically undermined middle-class values, women … did not have the recognized rights necessary to fully embrace the liberation from the[se] values” (Martin 69)....   [tags: Katherine Mansfield]

Powerful Essays
2631 words (7.5 pages)

Essay Soring in Gaited Horse Breeds Analysis

- In 2011, the United States government spent $750,000 to build a new soccer field at Camp 6 in Guantanamo Bay (Fox). While in the same year, only $500,000 was allowed for the protection of horses against a practice called “soring,” in which horses legs are purposely injured in order to create the ever famous fancy gait that spectators love to watch (15 USC). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) needs more funding so that the Horse Protection Act (HPA) can be effectively enforced in Tennessee Walking Horse and Racking Horse shows....   [tags: horse protection, usda, racing horse]

Powerful Essays
2945 words (8.4 pages)

The Benefits of Eating Horse Meat Essay examples

- They Eat Horses, Don't They. Many Americans have a hard time thinking about eating horse meat. Every year, many horses are slaughtered for meat which is exported to other countries. “The U.S. Humane Society Web site says 55,776 horses were slaughtered last year in the United States and thousands more transported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter there (Lum). By getting rid of unwanted horses, the horse market will begin to steadily climb. Slaughtering horses allows breeders a way to benefit from old horses and benefits the economy....   [tags: food, horse meat]

Powerful Essays
2597 words (7.4 pages)

Katherine Mansfield And Sexuality Essay

- One of the themes that can be found in the stories of Katherine Mansfield centres upon the role, status, sexuality, and "place" of women in society. According to Chantal Cornut-Gentille d'Arcy, "Mansfield's succinct narratives … are triumphs of style, a style which challenged the conventional parameters of nineteenth-century realism, constrained to plot, sequential development, climax, and conclusion" (244). More specifically, maintains that "even though Mansfield never acknowledged any profound engagement with Freudian approaches to sexuality or psychic disorder … Mansfield moved in a context which undoubtedly indicates she was aware of Freud's ideas and discoveries" (245)....   [tags: Katherine Mansfield Feminism Sex]

Powerful Essays
1598 words (4.6 pages)

The Character of Mrs. Norris in Mansfield Park Essay

- The Character of Mrs. Norris in Mansfield Park    For any character there are three main ways of learning about them. Firstly, how the character themselves thinks and behaves. Secondly, how other characters respond to the character. Lastly, how the author discusses the character is very revealing. Each of these views of Mrs. Norris is provided by the author. Mrs Norris is only related to Mansfield Park through her sister, Lady Bertram. While she may not have managed to make the affluent marriage that her sister did, there is no doubting her love of money....   [tags: Mansfield Park Essays]

Powerful Essays
1124 words (3.2 pages)

The Life and Work of Katherine Mansfield Essays

- The Life and Work of Katherine Mansfield Born as Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp in Wellington, New Zealand in the year 1888, Katherine Mansfield has long been celebrated as New Zealand’s most influential and important writer. Daughter of Annie Dyer and Herold Beauchamp, Mansfield was born to a wealthy businessman and a mother who was often thought to have been “aloof”. Attending school at a young age, Mansfield went to Wellington GC as well as Miss Swainson’s private school before being sent to Queen’s college in London for a more formal education....   [tags: Biography Katherine Mansfield Essays]

Powerful Essays
3644 words (10.4 pages)

Money for Love in The Rocking Horse Winner Essay

- The Rocking Horse Winner - Money for Love In this short story, "The Rocking Horse Winner," there is a little boy competing for his mother's love, and his mother bringing her son to his death with her confusing vocabulary. Paul's mother confuses him with her vocabulary words such as: love, money, lucky, unlucky, and peace of mind. She tells him that luck has to do with everything, and that she was extremely unlucky. Paul's family were not poor, but his mother wanted to compete with other families by having the best and the most stylish....   [tags: Rocking Horse Winner]

Free Essays
629 words (1.8 pages)

Essay on Paradoxical Power in The Horse Dealer's Daughter

- Paradoxical Power in The Horse Dealer's Daughter   In D.H Lawrence's "The Horse Dealer's Daughter," Mabel Pervin and her three brothers are left with debts to pay after the death of their father. To pay these debts, the Pervins are forced to sell every horse that they own. Then, they must separately create new lives elsewhere. Although Mabel's brothers have decided where they will be going and what they will be doing, as the story opens, Mabel's fate seems undetermined. Her apparent inability to plan her future is initially a source of tension and conflict....   [tags: Horse Dealer's Daughter]

Powerful Essays
1167 words (3.3 pages)

Women's Education in Mansfield Park Essays

- Women's Education in Mansfield Park       In Mansfield Park, Jane Austen presents three different kinds of formal education for women. Two of these have the ultimate goal of marriage, while the third is, possibly, as close to a gentleman's education as a woman's could be. Although there is some overlapping of these three types, each one is, basically, embodied in one of the major female characters -- Maria Bertram, Mary Crawford, and Fanny Price -- to show the follies and the triumphs of each....   [tags: Mansfield Park Essays]

Powerful Essays
1755 words (5 pages)

The Rocking-Horse Winner Essay

- The main themes in “ The Rocking-Horse Winner” are the pursuit of love and luck. Both of the main characters in " The Rocking-Horse Winner", Hester and Paul, are in pursuit of love. First the mother, Hester married for love, and the love faded, she gained children from her marriage, but she could not love them. Nowhere in her life does she find love for anyone but herself. The closest thing to love that comes to her she rejects. That comes in the form of her young son Paul. Her feelings towards her children, especially, Paul, is exemplified when her children are around, she always feels the center of her heart go hard....   [tags: The Rocking-Horse Winner]

Free Essays
633 words (1.8 pages)