- Published: November 21, 2022
- Updated: November 21, 2022
- University / College: University of East Anglia (UEA)
- Level: Masters
- Language: English
- Downloads: 15
The Book by D. H. Lawrence: The Horse dealer’s daughter is a short story by Lawrence that depicts the miserable life of a young woman, who meets a husband through a failed suicide attempt. The main characters in the story are Mabel Pervin and Dr. Jack Ferguson. Mabel Pervin lived a lonely and desolate life, Mabel was a simple woman, who rarely showed any emotive feelings. Lawrence describes her face as impassive and unchanged (2591). She was an independent woman and this is demonstrated by her ability to take care of their household for ten years. Mabel was an insecure woman, and this was as a result of mistreatment from her brothers who teased her of becoming a maid, and she lacked friends of the same sex as her (Lawrence, 2594). Her companion was her mother’s grave where she felt secure and glorified. Jack on the other is the areas doctor who was physically ill.
This is denoted by Lawrence phrase that the doctor arrived at the Pervins residence looking pale and tired. The doctor is lonely and under the confinement of the town he serves and therefore cannot escape the routines of his duty. The two characters in the story are spiritually dead. Lawrence uses metaphorical connotations to depict the spiritual death of Mabel and Jack. The grave is a sign of spiritual death to Mabel. Due to her conditions of life, Mabel goes out to trim the grave side of her mother, and while doing this, the young woman feels glorified. She is at peace with herself because of a closer feeling to her dead mother while she tends the grave. Lawrence in analyzing this scene explains that the young woman was in a state of ecstasy, coming nearer to her own glorification by approaching her dead mother who is already glorified.
Her spiritual death is proved by Mabel’s attempt to commit suicide. Jack Ferguson is also spiritually dead. Lawrence (2592) describes his arrival at the Perkins place looking pale and tired, just like a dead person. He is resolute and bound to his careers and clients, and cannot break from the negative social condition the community has placed on him. His spiritual death is denoted by his attempt to save Mabel from death by approaching the pond, even though he cannot swim.
The pond is a symbolism for a grave and Jack later admits that the pond had a foul decaying smell, which represents the nature of death. Their spiritual death indicated they were at the dead end of their lives. The doctor was lonely and desolate, while Mabel was depressed and wanted to commit suicide. The Doctor risked death by trying to save Mabel from the pond, even though he cannot swim. All this supports the notion that the two of them were at the dead end of their lives.
However, they lives are reborn, after they emerge from the pond. The pond represents a grave, and by drowning, the two of them were dead. But at Jack effort, when they emerged from the pond, is a sign of resurrection and a new life. The Story ends with Jacks realization of the love he has for Mabel, and this is depicted by the nature of his close attention to Mabel’s eyesight. Her eyesight was on her mother’s graveside next to Jacks house (Lawrence, 2595). While Dr. Jack carries his bride to his house, it burns symbolizing a new life for both the doctor and Mabel. This scene ends the story.
Lawrence, H. D. ” The Horse Dealers Daughter” Norton Anthology of English Literature: The
Major Authors. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. New York: Norton, 2006. 2590-2600 Print.