D.H. Lawrence’s, “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter”, tells a timeless love story of Mabel and Jack, two people of totally different social standings, falling in love. After the death of Mabel’s father her and her three brothers are left to be on their own. While Mabel’s three brothers know where they are going to go and what each of them is going to do, Mabel is still undecided. Mabel is a stubborn, hardheaded girl who does not have much to say, to anyone. And when Jack Fergusson comes through the door of their house, Jack is the last person Mabel ever expected to fall in love with, or even have Jack fall in love with her. Jack Fergusson is a successful doctor, who did not think much of Mabel. Without either of them knowing it they were brought together after Mabel tried killing her self. Love has a strange way of choosing two people for each other, but it always seems to work out. Love is a powerful thing and despite how similar or different two people may be, love will find its way and this is shown between Mabel and Jack through the use of the symbol of the pond, the plot, and each character themselves.
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Mabel and Jack’s love can be shown through the symbol of the pond. The pond is a symbol that can be interpreted in many different ways; one being it symbolized love (Lu 8). Mabel felt it be at her best interest that she would be better off with her mother, who is dead. She preferred to follow in her mother’s footsteps (Hebert). With that, came the thought that she should just kill herself. Without knowing it, the pond was the thing that brought Jack and Mabel together. As she was walking slowly into the pond Jack watched her. As Lawrence stated in the text “he followed her minutely as she moved” (743). This shows that he had an interest in her and what she was doing. After realizing what Mabel was doing Jack rushed down to the pond to save her (Lawrence 744). Jack showed his true love for her when he entered the water to save her, even though he could not swim. Jack did what any doctor would do and saved her life, after he brought her from the pond he made the water come from her mouth (Lawrence 744). After Jack saved Mabel he tended to her at Mabel’s home. As that is one interpretation of the pond, the pond can also show a rebirth. Before Mabel tried to kill her self she was very shy and hardly talk to anyone. Just like their love, he did not know he loved her nor did Mabel know she loved Jack. Jack and Mabel had no real interaction before. After coming out of the water they both realized that they felt something for each other that was never expected. They were brought together by this incident, and there after Jack and Mabel showed their love for each other. While the pond shows Jack and Mabel’s love through symbolism, the plot also helps prove the theme to they story.
The plot also helps prove the theme of the story. With the plot being when Mabel tried to kill herself, this is when both she and Jack first showed their love for each other. Through all the events that happened between Mabel walking into the water and the end of the story where Jack says they must marry (Lawrence 748), they fell deep into love. When Mabel asked Jack, “Do you love me, then?” (Lawrence 745) it took Jack a while to answer, although he knew that he did love her and Mabel knew he loved her. As Mittlemen said in her article, before the incident Jack had never indicated the he had any love for Mabel (4). In fact before the incident Mabel did not show her love for Jack, nor did she know she had any love for him. After he saved her neither of them could help but show their feelings for each other. The plot of the story helped them to revel their love for each other. They were meant to be together and one-way or another love was going to bring the both of them together. And after Mabel tried to kill herself they were together, just like they were destined to be. As the plot helps prove the theme, each character, Jack and Mabel, help as well.
Each character, Jack and Mabel, help to prove the main theme the story has to show. Mabel is a part of the lower class of people, who has to buy the cheap groceries (Mittleman). While Jack is a successful doctor who is high class and is considered in the upper part of society. At the beginning of the story Mabel had no idea what she was going to do with her life, so she resulted to go with her mother, but Jack saved her from making that decision. Mabel and Jack are part of two totally different social standings. With that being that is the reason why neither of them thought they would ever fall in love. Starting off Mabel was stubborn and did not really show any liking towards Jack. They are two different people who had thought they had no feelings for one another. Jack shows his kindness towards Mabel. He accepts her for who she is and what she has to bring to the table. Jack knows that she is at the low part of society but he does not let that bother him. Once he realizes that he loves Mabel, he will not let anything stand in the way of that. He say at the end of the story, “Were going to be married, quickly, quickly-tomorrow if I can.” (Lawrence 748) This shows that he has true feelings for her and Jack wants her to know that. Mabel, on the other hand, knows that he loves her and she loves him to but she starts to feel horrible. Mabel feels that she is not good enough for him and she does not understand why he loves her, Lawrence stated (748). Jack and Mabel over came the differences they had. They would not let anything stand in the way of their love. They love each other and they each prove that through their characters.
Although all three points, symbolism of the pond, the plot, and each character, Jack and Mabel prove the theme, there can be an argument made that each of these literary elements do not help prove the theme of the story. The symbolism of the pond does not help prove the theme of the story because Jack is a doctor and he was doing his job of saving a life, but Jack had been watching her and he rushed to save her from making a mistake he did not want her to make. Also, people would argue that the plot does not show that love is a powerful thing because it does now show that they are brought together, it shows a doctor saving a life. But after the incident he tells her that he loves her and wants to be with her. Another argument can be made that the characters of Jack and Mabel do not show the theme because each of them are different in their own ways and have no true connection but despite their differences they came to love and care for each other. Although each point can be argued against, each literary element ties into the theme of the story.
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Jack and Mabel’s love is shown through the symbol of the pond, the plot of the story and each character themselves. The pond represented love; in a way that it made each of them realize that they really did love each other. The pond also symbolized a rebirth. After Jack saved Mabel she was more outspoken and was not shy anymore. Also after they came out of the water, so did their love. Jack and Mabel let their love for one another out. The plot of the story brought them together and made them realize that they had a deep love for each other. And each character proved that no matter how different two people are they could still fall in love. It is hard to find love when one is looking, but some people do not know that the person they are meant to love could be right in front of their eyes. Love comes to a person when they are not looking. And weather or not they think that certain someone is the one, love will prove them wrong. Love is an unstoppable thing that people have no control over.
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