The “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter,” symbols have been used in fulfilling the thirst of happiness as well as love. It has been written by D.H Lawrence and has several symbols which illustrate hidden meaning. One can entirely understand the story, if one can point out some symbols. Symbols develop ideas as well as images for one to comprehend the story better. In this analysis, I will be talking about Mabel who happens to be the main character.
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Mabel is depressed and suicidal at the same time. When her mother dies, Mabel gives up in life and feels that she has nothing to live for in life. Her mother was the only happiness in her life and without her she feels lost. The only thing she has in life is her house, which she is very proud of and her brother whom she does not care about. She plans to end her life by drowning herself in the pond and Dr. Fergusson sees her drowning and attempts to save her. The symbol signifies the beginning of a new experience in addition to a change of two individual’s lives (Lawrence 888).
The pond is illustrated as dead and cold. This indicates that Dr. Fergusson initially did not love Mabel before the event. The relater describes the pond as having no life before the doctor entered it. Before the doctor went in, the relationship between them was lifeless and cold, and they had no loving feelings for each other. Dr. Fergusson was rescuing Mabel not because he had feelings for her, but because he was just doing his job (Lawrence 889).
The life of Dr. Fergusson is described by the pond as both dull and futile. Doctor’s life was stagnant and silent before he met Mabel. Initially, he feared going in too deep into the pond and also feared drowning. This symbolizes that Dr. Fergusson always feared falling in love. He feared water since he could not swim and also owing to the fact that he was scared of love; he had never fallen in love and was scared of love. When he eventually, fell in, he felt Mabel’s clothes and pulled her up. This implies that when he fell in the pond, he found love therein. It was as if fate pushed him into the water to find the woman he was meant to love, for the rest of his life. In the dead and cold pond, he found love. This means that at times, one has even to look beyond unimaginable places in order to get love. This is because even in a dead place like the pond, one can get something that is very alive and elevating such as love (Lawrence 889).
The pond represents the beginning of the love between Megan and Dr. Fergusson because they fell madly in love after that. The water represents baptism and rebirth and when Megan stepped in the water, all her problems were wiped away. This symbolizes cleanliness as well as the beginning of the new life. Megan’s life before was useless and meaningless to her and she wanted so much to get out of it. Megan had no one to love her or take care of her after her mother passed way. She never tried something new in her seemingly empty life and when she eventually tried something wonderful happened to her. The life of Dr. Fergusson was also meaningless like hers. He possessed a good job and was working with different people, but he never enjoyed his life. He did not have any love in his life and devoid of love; there is nothing to live for. Even to Dr. Fergusson, the pond represents the beginning of his new life, since he finds love. The pond baptizes both of them and both acquire a new sense of life (Lawrence 889-891).
The time Mabel changes her clothing at the last part of the story; she is beginning her new life. The new clothing represents a new and fresh experience, one that she had never experienced in her life. Falling in love is something that everybody desires and wants at some point in their lives. Love is an essential feature of happiness. At the start of the story, Mabel was dead and without a life. During the end, she is cheerful and full of hope and anticipation in life.
When Mabel is out of the wet and unclean clothing, she is free from her predicaments. The dirty clothing symbolizes how Mabel was before she fell in love with Dr. Fergusson. It symbolizes how Mabel was suicidal and miserable. . “She had on her best dress of black voile,” (Lawrence 992) puts across Mabel’s contentment and eagerness to begin something new in her life. Before Mabel fell in love, she did not wear clothes as pleasing to the eye as this dress. The clothing is something new to her and she wants to try out. Mabel’s changing clothes shows that she is changing her personality as well as her attitude towards life. Mabel changed from a silent woman who always kept to herself, to a loving woman who became very open minded. She now feels that there is something to love for in life because there is a person to love in her life (Lawrence 992).