The Horse Dealer's Daughter Summary

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In D.H. Lawrence’s “The Horse-Dealer’s Daughter”, Mabel Pervin, the protagonist, is portrayed as an unloved woman in the twentieth century. Mabel lives with, and cares for, her three brothers Joe, Fred, and Malcolm after the death of their father, which leaves them in debt. Mabel does not find love from her father, just secureness from his money, nor do her brothers show her any form of affection. Due to the lack of endearment in Mabel’s life, Mabel begins to question whether or not she can be loved. Mabel attempts to overcome this internal conflict by taking her own life, she is motivated by her relationship with her father as well as her brothers. However, when Jack Ferguson saves Mabel from herself, the internal conflict is brought back.
Before Joseph Pervin’s death, the Pervin family was financially stable due to Joseph’s horse-dealing business. But once the business took a turn for
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The story opens with Joe mistreating Mabel, he asks her a question and “without listening for an answer, he turned aside” ( Lawrence 1). There is a sense that Mabel is not cared about because any conversation that she has with her brothers seems like a joke to them. In paragraph 7, Lawrence states that “they talked at her”. This shows that the brothers do not take her seriously, if they truly love/care about her they would be talking to her, not at her like she is a child or an animal. The brothers constantly ask what Mabel is going to do with her life because they all have plans but she does not. Although it may seem thoughtful, they just want her gone. The feeling of not being wanted by family, or even anybody, can have a negative effect on how someone views themselves, which is why Mabel feels bad enough to commit suicide. Joe, Fred, and Malcolm are the only people who Mabel has been living with for the past few months so she feels unloved because they are the only ones around who could care for her but choose not

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