D. H. Lawrence “The Horse Dealers Daughter” Characterization


English 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.


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