In the story "The Horse Dealers Daughter", the author D. H. Lawrence creates intense and dramatic scenes that keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Lawrence incorporates symbolism and character to give the story a greater meaning. To sum up the story in it's entirety, Lawrence symbolizes death as the rebirth of love. Symbolic meaning and analization of character are two important factors to keep in mind while reading this story.
although she was not happy, the " sense of money kept her proud and confident" (590). I feel that Mabel remained to cater to her family because those were the only people that ever acknowledged her. Mabel tries to keep strong by reassuring herself that she "would always hold the key to her own situation". In my opinion, I feel she was trying to convince herself but deep inside her heart, she has already died a spiritual death.
Symbolism begins to play an important role in the story when Mabel visits the churchyard where her mothers' headstone was at rest. She took her time cleaning the surroundings of her mother's grave. This was the only place that offered Mabel a sense of security. "Once under the shadow of the great looming church, among the graves, she felt immune from the world, reserved within the thick churchyard wall as in another country"(590). Dr. Ferguson noticed Mabel at the grave. "She seemed so intent and remote, it was like looking into another world. Some mystical element was touched in him."(591) I feel that Dr. Ferguson seen himself in Mabel for the very first time. The doctor never looked at Mabel in this type of way until this very moment. It was at this point where Lawrence changed course toward the direction of a love story.
After Mabel visited the cemetery, she proceeded towards the deep pond below Old meadow. The doctor noticed Mabel was walking toward the pond, but he was unaware of what she would do. It was then that Mabel " waded into the water" (592). Dr. Ferguson ventured into the pond dragging Mabel out.
The strongest symbolic meaning Lawrence used in the story was the description of the pond. The pond is described as dead and cold, which refers that Dr. Ferguson did not have any feelings for Mabel before rescuing her. Before going into the water, they did not have any passionate feelings for each other. The pond also represents Dr. Ferguson's life as being still and silent. Dr. Ferguson was afraid to go into the pond because of his fear of drowning. This fear could also refer to the fear of falling in love. The instant he fell in the water means, he fell in love with Mabel. In contrast, Mabel fell in the water to wash away her troubles. Before her attempt of suicide her life was meaningless. Therefore, the pond symbolizes the start of a new experience, and a change of two people's lives.
Both Mabel and Dr. Ferguson had one very important thing in common; their unhappiness of their lives. Mabel did not have a person to feel security and love from. Likewise, Dr. Ferguson had no love in his life, and without love one can say there is nothing to live for. Mabel changes her clothes, which represents her new life. The clothes symbolize a new and fresh experience. When she is in her wet and dirty clothes, she was suicidal and depressed. Her change of clothes represents the change of personality and attitude.
"The Horse Dealers Daughter" by D. H. Lawrence is a great story that incorporates a tremendous amount of symbolism. As a reader, I found that Lawrence created a greater emphasis on the symbolic meaning of the pond. This story took a big turn in course toward the direction of a love story. D. H. Lawrence's use of symbolism made the story very meaningful and enjoyable.