Conflict In The Horse Dealer's Daughter

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“The Horse Dealer’s Daughter,” written by D.H. Lawrence, takes place in strictly divided society. In this society, a person moving throughout classes was basically impossible. The life of a person was essentially predestined with the only factor being which class you were born into affecting the options they had. With a clear distinction between the classes, it was expected for any relationship between two separate classes to be strictly professional, preventing social mobility that way. For Mabel and her brothers and their current situation, this leaves them with essentially no options at all. The options they do have are further limited by a lack of education offered to them, keeping them trapped in their low class. Being stuck in this tiny…show more content…
An example of this conflict occurs when Mabel’s brothers barrage her with questions about where she intends to go and what they believe to be best for her. The ideas for what Mabel could do are very limited to not much more than becoming a nurse or a maid (Lawrence 453-455). This is an example of man vs. society conflict because the options for what a woman could do are very restricted during this time. For Mabel, none of the suggestions made by her brothers really interests her, and she doesn’t give much attention to them. These suggestions, however, are her only options in her society, and she realizes this. Another example happens when Lawrence describes and explains Mabel’s past. He explains that for the past decade Mabel had kept the house after her mother’s death (Lawrence 458). This is another example of man vs. society conflict that reveals that women were expected to take care of the house duties. Instead of balancing the duties to keep up the house between all the siblings or even leaving them to one of the older brothers, Mabel is expected and does take up this responsibility despite her young age at the time. A final example of man vs. society conflict comes when Dr. Ferguson realizes his “love” for Mabel. One of his first thoughts after doing this is what would everyone think. He understands that being a doctor and marrying someone much lower in class would be frowned upon (Lawrence 464). This example reveals that the unwritten “rules of society” say that a marriage between Mabel and Dr. Ferguson should not happen. This also shows that there is a clear division between the classes, and it is expected for each person to stay in the realm of the one that themself belong
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