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Horse Dealer Daughter Essay, Research Paper
The Horse Dealer s Daughter
The short story, The Horse Dealer s Daughter , by D. H. Lawrence, contains many gaps. I think the most significant gap in the reading was, why did Mabel try to kill herself by walking into the pond? The story begins with Mabel and her three brothers Fred Henry, Joe, and Malcom being forced to move from their home to lead new lives in separate directions. All three brothers had set destinations and were excited to go, but Mabel had nowhere to go except for sister, Lucy s house. Mabel had no intentions of going there though, so she felt lonely and unhappy. I think that since she had no one to turn to, she felt unwanted and depressed. She thought the only way to get any one to realize how miserable she was, was to kill herself.
There were many signs in the short story that lead us to believe that she was going to commit suicide. For example she went to visit her mother s grave to clip the grass around the tomb. She felt an immediate contact with the world of her mother (548). Also throughout the scene of Mabel walking in the churchyard, there were many descriptive words symbolizing death, like It was a grey wintry day, with saddened, dark green fields (548), and in the dusk of the dead afternoon (550). These moments lead us to the important gap question, why Mabel tried to drown in the pond.
There are three main reasons why Mabel s suicide attempt is so significant. First, Mabel was lonely and felt she never got much recognition. For instance her brothers would criticize her and put her down. Mabel would pretend it didn t bother her so she would act like she never heard them and would carry on with her work. Some examples were, But Mabel did not take any notice of him. They had talked at her and round her for so many years, that she hardly heard them at all. (545) and But she finished her task with perfectly impassive face, the young doctor watching her interestedly all the while (547). Mabel would made people think their comments didn t bother her emotions but inside she was hurt and sad.
The most important sign that led us to believe Mabel was going to kill herself was when she started walking into the pond. This was where Mr. Fergusson comes in and rescues Mabel. I believe Mabel might have faked the suicide in hope that Mr. Fergusson would take notice in her. When he carried her back to the house Mabel asked Mr. Fergusson if he loved her. After she asked him, he was left confused and afraid but at the same time excited and amazed. Mabel then tried to convince Mr. Fergusson to say yes by putting her arms around him, pressing her breasts against him, and bringing his face near hers. Mabel tried hard to get Mr. Fergusson to say the words. You love me, she murmured, in strange transport, yearning and triumphant and confident. You love me. I know you love me, I know. And she was passionately kissing his knees, (552). Mabel soon got him to think that he was in love with her and he soon began to believe it was true. An example of this is He was afraid, even a little horrified. For he had, really, no intention of loving her (552).
Finally, Mr. Fergusson felt the same way after she had told him that she loved him. He said he loved her too, but that totally shocked him that he felt that way. Earlier he was just doing his job by helping a patient and now it was more than that, he actually had feelings for Mabel. An example of this is when he for the first time said Yes. The word cost him a painful effort. Not because it wasn t true. But because it was too newly true, the saying seemed to tear open again his newly torn heart. And hardly wanted it to be true, even now (553). Another example was he had not the power to move out of her presence, until she sent him. I was as if she had the life of his body in her hands, and he could not extricate himself. Or perhaps he did not want to (551). After Mabel made him believe that they were in love he then asked her to marry him. After, she felt guilty because she had manipulated Mr. Fergusson. I think she knew it wasn t out of love but out of sympathy for her.
I think most people can relate to Mabel in a way because when we want someone s attention and can t get it we try to do something noticeable so the person will react. If I m trying to persuade someone to do or say something I usually try to put words into their mouth by repeating and convincing them its right. So if I end up making them do what I wanted I tend to feel bad because I made them do something they didn t want to. Most people wouldn t go to such an extreme length to get what they want. Mabel was being selfish and not thinking about other peoples feelings.
In conclusion, I think Mabel might have faked the whole suicide in order to get Mr. Fergusson s attention. Mabel had to try so hard to convince Mr. Fergusson that he loved her. I don t think Mabel or Mr. Fergusson really loved each other, they were both lonely and want that missing piece in their lives. They were basically using each other and figured it would be beneficial to have a loved one in their life.