The Horse Dealer’s Daughter

In D.H. Lawrence’s “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter,”
Mabel “did not share the same life as her brothers ”(195).
Mabel Pervin was not close to her brothers, because there
were personal and physical separations. Mabel was a plain,
uninteresting woman. She seldom showed emotion on her
face. In fact her face usually remained impassive and
unchanged. Her brothers could be described as three
handsome and well-spoken men. Mabel was independent,
having taken care of the house for ten years without a
servant. Even though they depended upon her, they
seemed to have control over her. The Pervin brothers “did
not care about anything” (195). They were poised and felt
secure about themselves. Her brothers felt superior to her.
“They had talked at her and round her for so many years,
that she hardly heard them at all” (196). She would either
give a neutral response to her brothers, or remain quiet
when they talked to her. Instead of giving her
encouragement, they teased her. This treatment could have
led to her insecurity. They would tease her about becoming
a maid or about her “bulldog” face. Her brothers were full
of energy and very talkative. Mabel also seemed to be
alone in the world. Unlike her brothers who had many
companions, she had had no friends of her own sex.
Sometimes it seemed that Mabel wanted to escape her life.
One place Mabel felt secure and immune from the world
was at her mother’s grave. “There she always felt secure,
as if no one could see her” (200). Mabel was extremely
devoted to her deceased parents, especially her mother.
She was mindless and persistent. At the graveside, she had
many different feelings. She seemed to be coming nearer to
her own glorification. Also she would become remote and
intent. She seemed to feel contact with the world that
mother had lived. Her brothers, however, were the
opposite of her. The memory of their parents faded away in
their minds. They never spoke or showed emotion dealing
with their parents. They had left the past behind them and
waited for the future would bring. Mabel’s devotion led to
an immense personal separation between the Pervin
brothers and Mable. Mainly, because Mabel wanted to live
her life just like her mother did, and her brothers had
moved on with theirs.

Category: Book Reports