“The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” by D. H. Lawrence Essay

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Apr 13th, 2020

This story expounds on Lawrence’s claims that “My great religion is a belief in the blood, the flesh, as being wiser than the intellect, (Lawrence). The story says more of Lawrence’s mysticism concerning this life. When Mabel finds out that her family has lost everything, she becomes frustrated. After thinking of her dead mother for long, she decides to drown herself. However, Jack saves her. This is illogical given the fact that Jack does not know how to swim but he dares to go too deep waters.

To Lawrence, this is what defines love, illogical and emotional coercion void of intellect. Going back to his quote, blood and flesh have overcome Jack’s intellect. To echo this, after Jack saves Mabel, they apply ‘intellectual’ thinking and they bring conflict. This underscores Lawrence’s religion where ‘emotions’ overrule intellectualism. However, this story lacks anything typical.

The storyline is romance and love; however, after Jack saves Mabel, the story transitions dramatically and defies all the expectations of such a story. “Lawrence cuts through the romanticism inherent in such a plot line to reflect the dark and conflicting feelings of the so-called lovers” (Bernardo Para. 1). Mabel goes to trim grass around her dead mother’s cemetery.

After a sequence of flashbacks of the love she had for her mother she decides to drown herself in a lake; however, Jack, a doctor rescues her. He takes her to his house, removes her wet clothes, and covers her with warm blankets. After this rescue, Lawrence tries to insinuate that jack loves Mabel.

Nevertheless, it is important to look for some facts here. The fact that Jack is a doctor; he could not watch Mabel die. The first rule of a doctor is to save lives; therefore, Jack acted from obligation, not love. The reason why Jack undressed Mabel is not to love; no, as a doctor he knew the wet clothes on Mabel would only worsen her condition.

Mabel assumes that Jack loves her and she holds him saying, “You love me. I know you love me, I know” (Lawrence Para. 5). This makes Lawrence kiss Mabel. However, this does not signify love for Jack has just found himself in such a situation.

However, Jack realizes that he does not love Mabel. However, for Lawrence to underscore his religion of blood and flesh overriding intellectualism, Jack’s intellect melts away under the arms of Mabel with flesh and blood taking preeminence. Jack says, “I’m so awful, I’m so awful…You can’t want to love me, I’m horrible” (Lawrence Para. 9). Despite knowing this is awful, Jack goes on for, “he had crossed over the gulf to her, and all that he had left behind had become void” (Lawrence Para. 13).

Surely, blood and flesh have overridden reasoning here for Jack proposes immediately. “I want you; I want to marry you, we’re going to be married, quickly, quickly — tomorrow if I can” (Lawrence Para. 14). Nevertheless, there is nothing typical about this story. Lawrence insinuates that the life of these two as a married couple would be hectic for marriage to him is a battle of supremacy.


This story is very flat and it lacks anything distinctive. It starts as a love story but things change immediately after Jack rescues Mabel. “Many love stories have a strange sense of fate about them — as if the two lovers are being drawn together inexorably by some heavenly hand.

In this case, however, Lawrence presents a situation in which Mabel and Jack are being sucked down into a mutual doom — and there is nothing either one can do about it” (Bernardo Para. 6). The story serves to expound on Lawrence’s mysticism. One would expect Lawrence to build on the storyline of love.

Works Cited

Bernardo, K. “D.H. Lawrence’s The Horse Dealer’s Daughter.” Web.

Lawrence, D. “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter.” ReadbookOnline Text. 2010. Web.

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