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.

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William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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