The Horse Dealer's Daughter

Only a minor number of distinguished fiction writers have accomplished the arduous delegate of creating a singular writing approach that not only traverse their life’s work but also built their numerous writing pieces into a single meaningful work of art. Often, these writers apply their stories in a try to convey certain themes. One alike writer is D. H. Lawrence. Lawrence employed a large number of literary tactics such as imagery symbol to define the main theme on one of his story : “The Horse-Dealer’s Daughter”.

Death and resurrection can be clearly identify as the main theme from this story where D. H. Lawrence recount the life of an youthful hopeless women (Mabel) dealing with debt, death and solitude pushing her to suicide from a pond and, save by her doctor( Fergusson) leading to a ambiguous love story. The main theme is greatly emphasized in this story through the use of many symbols. The first symbol in the story brings us to the theme of death and resurrection where its represented in the churchyard and the graves : “Carefully she clipped the grass from the grave, especially her mother’s grave”.

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The grave intend for the dead soul that Mabel has for the time being. Also , the grave symbol setup a place of connection between Mabel and her mother, a connection that brings invulnerability and immunity from that churchyard grave :” There she always felt secure “. In life , a common fact emphasized this connection between a mom and her daughter : ” Being kept close to the mother and breastfed on demand provide the infant with a sense of emotional security”(Fact for life : fourth edition#).

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The next preeminent symbol is the pond, embodying the clay and the water:”. The pond, water, and clay all represent one major idea: death. As a pattern , Lawrence repeatedly bring up these three symbols as dead, cold, and dark. This pattern seems to emphasized death to connect both the main protagonist and the second because both seems to have died spiritually and emotionally : ” talked…round her for so many years,” as though Mabel does not exist and ” Ferguson arrives at the Pervin residence tired and “pale,” like a corpse”.

A last elements that defines a major symbol is the rebirth “his life came back to him” where Fergusson mentioned how he saved Mabel. The symbol is identify specifically in the characters’ changing from the wet, dark clothes to new clothes. In a way removing the wet clothes, hence their old dead life, to new clothes implies that they are starting a new life, a rebirth. Across-the-board, symbols help guide the readers to see how the theme works. The characters experiences a sense of death (though they don’t physically die) and is changed by the experience and gets rebirth.

In a way, Mabel, in the beginning, already experiences death through her father’s death, leaving her spiritually dead. Ferguson, on the other hand is also mentally dead, considering himself a slave to the countryside, because he does not accept or want to know or had ever experienced love. He appears cold and loveless. At the pond, Ferguson pulls Mabel and himself out of the pond (death) and thus pulls both of them back alive (rebirth). Thus the them death to rebirth.

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The Horse Dealer's Daughter. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

The Horse Dealer's Daughter
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