The Horse Dealer’s Daughter Analysis

D.H. Lawrence is the author of The Horse Seller’s Girl, a short piece. This story is about a girl struggling with the inner-self. Mabel Pervin lives with her brothers. She lost both her parents when she was fourteen. She was in debt when her father died. She is depressed following the loss of her parents. Her relationship with her brother’s will fade. She was treated with disrespect. She drowned in the pond to escape all her sufferings and feel closer to her mom. She was saved from drowning by Dr jack Fergusson. She started to feel loved.

The Horse Dealer’s Daughter’s interesting symbolism is used to illustrate themes of love, family, suicide and death. From the beginning, the author stated that the character’s condition was due to the family. This family is in a state of breakdown due to the early death of their mother. Three brothers’ emotional reaction to their last horse is a reflection of their family business. Mabel, Mabel’s father, is a very important character to the story. As described in Lawrence 458, “She attended church regularly, she took care of her father”. The idea was that after parents die, their children would become stronger together. However, nothing like this happens. This story uses this as a way to make Mabel feel depressed and lonely. One can see the destruction of a home when parents die. This story is important because death was the cause of the destruction of a wealthy, happy family. Children lost parents. Mabel was initially against suicide because she thought it would mean losing her mother and happiness. However, once she started to feel lonely she realised that it was the best way to find the people she loved. This is why Mabel decided to leave all the misery of life behind and to develop the idea to commit suicide in order to see her father. In the story, it’s said, “For she had inherited a world of death from her mother, which was far more real” (Lawrence 459). So, death and suicidal thoughts are linked. Mable became convinced that the only possible way to find her mother was to follow death. After cleaning the grave of her mother, she went to a nearby pond. This is a symbol that the author has used. This makes it easy to understand that she is trying to commit suicide. This is a good indication that her intention was to commit suicide. Dr. Ferguson then followed her. Pond is also seen as symbol of the story, changing two lives. Mabel was changed forever by that encounter. The author uses words to symbolize death, such as ‘dead-cold-pond, black, clay’. Lawrence 460). The story of this book is a love story that can be understood. When he saw Mabel at the grave of her mother, Dr. Ferguson felt attracted to her. This story shows how love can occur unexpectedly. Mabel started out as a rather unromantic individual, but her feelings changed when she appeared naked before Dr. Ferguson.

As described, he seemed to be unsure of his feelings about her. (Lawrence 463). In the end he expressed his love by saying: “I want her, I’d like to marry her, and we’ll be married as soon as tomorrow, if possible” (Lawrence 465). As a conclusion, the author presents each perspective by using the narrator as a 3rd person. Mabel’s life story is filled with death, economic crisis, and the breakdown of relationships between siblings. She also hopes to love someone or be loved. That incident changed her forever. She had lost interest in her own life when her parents died and disconnected from society.


  • stanleybyrne

    Stanley Byrne is a 26-year-old education blogger and teacher. He has degrees in education and political science from the University of Notre Dame and has worked in various teaching and research positions since he graduated in 2014. He is the author of a number of educational blog posts and has written for Huffington Post, The Guardian, and Salon.