Lawrence story, “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” Norton p. 2590-91

Evaluative terms / implications for meaning of the story

Students’ comments on selected evaluative words/phrases, September 28 2010

“stupidity” and derivatives
-- suggests an animal-like stupidity applied to the characters of the story
-- suggests blindness, no direction
-- suggests being lost in a simple situation

“three fine, well-set fellows enough”
Mabel’s brothers can still make their own fortunes, contrasts with Mabel’s pride, which prevents her from taking a job as a servant.

Family has has no way out of their predicament; they have lost control of their future

“a stupidity which held them [horses] in subjection”
Lawrence is comparing the animal’s situation to the collapse of the family’s lives.  The brothers allow themselves to be subjected through emotional stupidity [cf. on emotions, Lady Chatterley quote]

The hopelessness Joe feels in this situation is akin to the hopeless servitude of the horses he is watching.  Joe is forced to rely on his [future] wife’s father, causing him to lose hope as an independent man.

“well-tempered air of mastery”
[Fred Henry] can control animals, like horses, but can’t control his own real life situations.  The other characters, his brothers and sister, have similar situations in their own lives.  At this point in the story [they] feel confused.

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Document created September 29th 2010