The Horse Dealer's Daughter Essay

762 words - 3 pages

In "The Horse Dealer's Daughter," author, D.H. Lawrence is very adept at using symbols to help the reader understand the story. Lawrence emphasizes the creativity of the unconscious mind, he sees it as a source of love and happiness. Animals, nature, and inanimate objects are all used as symbols by Lawrence.Human behaviour is often compared to animal behaviour. For example, Mabel's demeanour being compared to a bulldog. Likewise her two brothers are compared to horses and dogs. Mabel's brothers say that Mabel "would have been good looking, save for the impressive fixity of her face, 'bulldog' as her brothers called it" (54). Joe is compared to a horse in harness, since he is going to be married. "He would marry, and go into harness. His life was over, he would be a subject animal now" (54). In other words, he would lose freedom, like a horse in harness. The other example of comparing humans to animals is Joe being compared to a dog. "He went out, followed by Joe, who seemed to have his tail between his legs" (56). This could be symbolizing Joe's sadness, since his family has to leave their house.Lawrence not only uses animals, but also uses nature. The pond is a strong symbol that has many meanings. Lawrence uses it to symbolize the start of a new experience and the tragic end of another. Jack is initially attracted to Mabel. He alludes to something in her eyes. However, he keeps his feelings buried or frozen. The pond is described as being dead and cold. This initially symbolizes that Jack has no feelings for Mabel before she tries to commit suicide. As a doctor, Jack felt he had an obligation to save Mabel. Jack's life has also been pointless, he needs a stimulant, and he finds this in his work. "It wore him out, but at the same time he had a craving for it. It was a stimulant to him" (59). This leaves him with no time to experience falling in love. Lawrence describes the water as being lifeless before Jack enters it. Jack is scared of going into the water because, "he could not swim and was afraid" (59). This could be interpreted as Jack's fear of falling in love. When he...

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