D. H. Lawrence “The Horse Dealers Daughter” CharacterizationEnglish 1301-03
October 13, 2004
In the story “The Horse Dealers Daughter”, author D. H. Lawrence use
a variety of different characters to tell a story of despair and love. The
Pervin siblings have discovered that the death of their father has left
them homeless and in debt. Now they must pick up the pieces and start a
new life of their own, but it is a hard pill to swallow. Obviously, the
Pervin men Joe, Fred Henery, and Malcom will over come this blow, but
uncertainly lie with Mabel Pervin. Mabel is one of two girls in a family
of five children, and unlike her siblings has lived life solely to tend to
her father. She moves through life virtually unnoticed. Now with her
father gone Mable questions her own existence, and is enticed by the
thought of suicide. However, unknown to Mabel the town doctor, Jake
Fergusson, has noticed her and is very intrigued. Sometimes in ones
darkest hour and in the most unexpected places a special someone can change
ones life.

The Pervin men Joe, Fred Henery, Malcom are D.H. Lawrence’s static
characters for the story. Joe the eldest was eat up with pride and
unwilling to let on just how hopeless he had become. He arrogantly conveys
that he is not worried about himself he is to marry a woman who’s father
would provide him a job. In his heart, he knows just how pathetic he has
become because of this he tends to strike out at the others. Fred Henery
displays denial by pretending to have concerns for Mabel, but it is just an
escape from facing his own fate. He keeps a reasonable composure about
him, but steadily becomes more frustrated with Mabel’s unwillingness to
decide what she wants to do. His true frustration lies within himself and
his inability to control his own destiny. Malcom the youngest of the three
brothers displays a little more compassion then his brothers. Malcom gives
a suggestion to Mabel rather then an order, but he to become irritated by
her unconcern for herself. He knows his fate as the youngest he will do
what he has always done and follow in the footsteps of his brother. The
Pervin brothers act as if they care for their sister, but truly, they do
not it is merely a means to make them feel better. They have a total
disregard for others, and simply focused on Mabel so they did not have to
focus on themselves.

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D.H. Lawrence’s Mabel was a much more rounded character for the
story. Mabel lost her mother at the tender age of fourteen just when a
mother is vital to a young girl’s life. She then became a caregiver to her
father by taking on the household duties once held by her mother. However,
Mabel contribution to the family went virtually unnoticed by the family.

Her brothers felt they were above her and treating her, more like a servant
then a sister. Therefore, when her father remarried Mabel became insecure
being threaten by someone taking away her only reason for living. Now her
father was gone and Mabel is very vulnerable. She has lived a life with a
false sense of security that her father would always be there. In a sense,
she built a world around her in which all her love and desires focused on
daddy, and with out him she was nothing with no one. In such a lonely
state of mind, it makes sense for on to contemplate suicide. In her mind
it would give her, what she longed for most to be with both her mother and
father. However, Doctor Jake Fergusson became very aware of Mabels
existence. Dr. Fergusson had been in and out of the Pervin home, and found
himself a little takin by the quite meek Mabel Pervin. Although they had
never spoken when in her presents he felt something, but shrugged it off
just as fast as it had come. Dr. Jack Fergusson was a work alcoholic
throwing himself into his work. While he took care of others, he gave very
little attention to himself. Some may say he was a very selfless man and
they would be right, but little did they know that their commonness made
him feel above them. They day Mabel noticed Jake watching her was a
pivotal point because they became aware of one another. Soon Jake comes in
contacted with Mabel but this time watches her walk into the water hoping
never to return, but with out concern for himself he rescues her. When she
awakes, she realizes that there is someone out there who cares. To confirm
her notation she simply asks if he loves her and he confesses his love.

Both had live a life for others, Mabel for her father, and Jake for his
patients but at that very moment they found mutual love in one another.

D.H. Lawrence “The Horse Dealers Daughter”, is truly an example of
love. His use of characters brings life to a story in which a reader can
relate. We have all had to overcome hardships in life, and most of us have
loved and lost and love again it is only human. Mabel had given up on life
and as she let go of it there was a hand reaching out to for her.