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. However, the events that unfold make clear that the life that Mabel has led for the past twenty-seven years has molded her into a determined and independent woman. Through these characteristics, Mabel finds her strength. Yet ironically these qualities also make her see the horror of the loss of self-suifficiency that seem inevitable with the family's breakup.
At first, Mabel's strength isn't very apparent. The initial scene, presented from her brother Joe's point of view, makes it appear that Joe may be a strong, dominating voice in the story. Furthermore, Joe and his brothers speak harshly to Mabel. The three brothers know what they're going to do now that they have to leave; Mabel does not. When Joe and Fred Henry question Mabel about her plans, she has little to say. In her silence, she seems small and weak. Ironically, it is in her silence, however, that Mabel gains her independence and strength.
These qualities emerge through the image motif of horses Lawrence uses in the story. Like a horse, Mabel is very powerful. For years she has been a workhorse of the family, especially since her father's death: "For months, Mabel had been servantless in the big hous...
... middle of paper ...
...ork. If her plan does succeed, then she will no longer be completely independent because she will be with Jack. If she loses her independence she loses her strength, and that ultimately will be her real death. Thus, to Mabel's ears, Jack's insistence that "I want you" is a "terrible intonation which frightened her almost more than her horror lest he should not want her" (256).
D. H. Lawrence's story, then, offers a subtle and complex psychological portrait of "The Horse-Dealer's Daughter." Mabel Pervin is both a manipulator of others and a victim of social circumstance. She is at once powerful and vulnerable. Perhaps these complexities and paradoxes are what make her seem so real, so human.
Lawrence, D.H. "The Horse Dealer's Daughter." 1922. Short Story Masterpieces. Ed. Robert Penn Warren and Albert Erskine. New York: Dell, 1958. 237-56.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Use of Imagery in D.H. Lawrence's The Horse Dealer's Daughter Circumstances force three brothers and their sister from home in D.H. Lawrence's "The Horse Dealer's Daughter." The brothers, and their friend Jack Fergusson, worry because the sister, Mabel, will not tell them what she intends to do with herself. The author uses Imagery to symbolize a rebirth in Jack and in Mabel. Lawrence uses dog and horse imagery to describe the family members. Joe stands in "horsey fashion," Fred Henry is an "animal which controls," and Malcolm has a "jauntymuseau." In fact, the entire family has an "animal pride." Lawrence describes the brothers in terms of horses apparently to emphasize the importance of... [tags: Horse Dealer's Daughter Essays]
357 words (1 pages)
- 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.... [tags: D H Lawrence Horse Dealer Daughter Essays Papers]
1188 words (3.4 pages)
- ... “Mindless and persistent, she seemed in a sort of ecstasy to be coming nearer to her fulfilment, her own glorification, approaching her dead mother, who was glorified” (Lawrence). This line in the story symbolizes Mabel wanting to go be with her by dying. Mabel felt while at her mother’s grave that she actually had contact with her mother. As she was scrubbing the headstone, Dr. Fergusson watched her and felt like it was like looking into another world. As she could feel him looking, she looked up and their eyes met.... [tags: Love, Emotion, Feeling, Aerosmith]
1643 words (4.7 pages)
- The Horse Dealer’s Daughter by D. H. Lawrence is a British piece of literature set in a 1920’s English country that portraits an uncommon boy meets girl love story. Lawrence short narration cuts the romanticism built in the plot to reflect the dark and conflicting feelings of the main characters. The story is narrated in an ancient death rebirth symbolism. The main characters are Mabel, the horse dealer’s daughter, and Jack, the town’s doctor. In the beginning they are both at the edge of an emotional crisis and in the end they are renewed by a symbolic baptism and fell deeply in love.... [tags: Emotion, Death, Love, Suicide]
979 words (2.8 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.... [tags: D.H. Lawrence's short sotyr]
646 words (1.8 pages)
- Cosmological Life Cycles In “The Horse-Dealer’s Daughter” Cosmological myths serve the purpose of explaining existence, particularly to less scientifically advanced cultures. These myths, or stories, were created as a way of dealing with the questions regarding the universe which could not be answered concretely. Cosmic myths include creation myths, flood myths, apocalyptic myths, and afterlife myths. Examples of all of these aspects of the cosmological life cycle are present in D.H. Lawrence’s “The Horse-Dealer’s Daughter”.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
410 words (1.2 pages)
- Horse Racing: The Ethics of Winning Even though tensions rise between the ethics in sport and the ideas of winning, families identify accomplishment in the bond between hobbies and the good life, as horse racing is a favorite past-time. Although desiring to win compromises the conduct and character of the owner, trainers, jockeys, and horses, many fans remain uptight toward betting on cheaters while taking them at face-value. While articles, periodicals, and congressional hearing testimonies about the sports culture of horse racing feature opposing strands of greed and reveal the binary just/unjust, the more interesting ideas come from the differences in the tone of voice, which show a patte... [tags: Horse, Horse racing, Whip, Jockey]
2112 words (6 pages)
- In the story “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter”, author D.H. Lawrence represents a type of love metaphor that is truly an example of how powerful love can be. His two main characters, Dr. Jack Fergusson and Mabel Pervin undergo such a dramatic experience, its almost impossible not to pick up his story and read it for a second time. But can something this imaginative and so farfetched actually happen. Well, love does work in mysterious ways and there have been a number of fascinating events that have happened to people.... [tags: essays research papers]
819 words (2.3 pages)
- The Internal Conflict of Relationships in D.H. Lawrence's The Horse Dealer's Daughter Love is one of the most complex and boundless emotions that human kind experiences. There is no set definition as to what it is or how it is felt by all, to each person it is a very intimate and personal evolution of a bit of the soul. It is for that reason that it is not strange to find both Mable Pervin's and Jack Fergusson's identification of love so vastly different. Love is also a timeless emotion, where in the rules of love have changed only slightly over the years.... [tags: Papers]
1180 words (3.4 pages)
- D.H. Lawrence's "The Horse Dealer's Daughter" could be described as a story in which boy meets girl. Its plot, on the surface, resembles that of any number of traditionally romantic pastorals: a country boy saves a country girl from drowning, sees something in her that he never saw before, and, at the end of the story, proposes marriage. In this day, this story would get made into a soap opera, and would be called ?Mabel?. This story deals with everyday soap life and has the thick plot that only soap can hold a candle to.... [tags: essays research papers]
767 words (2.2 pages)
- Comparing The Tempest and King Lear
- Voices from the Past in Stephen Crane's The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky
- Psychoanalytical Analysis of Flowering Judas
- The Negative Portrayal of Women in Breakfast of Champions
- Romantic Love in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale
- A Comparison of the Supernatural in Tempest, Julius Caesar, and Midsummer Night's Dream