English 1022E Lecture Notes - Nervous Conditions, Personal Identity
September 16, 2010
English Lecture “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” by D.H Lawrence
On the Board:
-“Parables of Redemption”
Rhetoric of Magnification
Part 1: Beginning to Paragraph starting with “In the afternoon she...” (p.2594)
Part 2: From “In the afternoon she...” to Paragraph starting “he laid her down...” (p.2596)
Part 3: From “He laid her down...” to the end
-Detective and Horror offer the largest dose of imaginative and emotional engagement
in the shortest possible time.
-Quality of Life in 1800’s (urban centers like New York, England) produced
MODERNITY. Arose with industrialism.
-Modernity: Increasing anxiety, nervous conditions, that appeared in literature.
“All that’s solid melts into air.” - Karl Marx
-Personal identity and meaning was gone, especially with people who moved from the
country to the city.
-In U.S this was called Americanitis.
-Symptoms of Modernity on p.2104 of NA
-Private Life versus Public Life (divided aims, 2104)
-A great divide in identities was taking place during the 1800’s.
-Dedicated to finding an answer to the problems with Modernity.
-The wealthy could afford to buy cottages, stay there all summer if they were rich
enough; this is an escape from Modernity.
-Frederic Law Olmsted designed Central Park in N.Y, and a lot of other big parks. He
left them deliberately wild because wild nature was supposed to have a better
psychological effect than tamed nature (Versailles). If you couldn’t afford to buy a
cottage you would go to these parks to escape Modernity.
-Literature would ‘ medicine the mind’
-Escape the office or city by going to the cottage
-Escape the apartment by going to the park
-Escape ordinary mindset by reading literature
September 16, 2010
-Doing all of these things regenerates, revitalizes and restores. Recreate
-The system that repeats in everyday life (work, weekend, work, etc.) Is the same
rhythm that underlies “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter”
-“The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” was written in 1916 and published in 1922, right
between WW1 and WW11
-All about women in love, women finding love
-WW1 made everybody think about the problems with Western Civilization. (Why are
we chewing ourselves to pieces?)
-Women were left at home while the men were killed.
-The original title of “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” was “The Miracle” which points to
the extraordinary event that occurs:
-The religious conversion of Mabel and Dr. Ferguson into D.H’s religion of love.
Love is a substitute for religion. Salvation of human beings through love.
Religion of Christianity Vs. Religion of Love
-Jesus could cure people by touching them - Mabel and Jack touch each other and are
converted to the Religion of Love
-D.H was opposed to Christianity
-He took values of Christianity and made them his own. Lots of his readers were
Christian so this way they would be more likely to pick up on the symbolism.
-Uses ideas as amplifiers. Using Christian ideas and terminology gave resonance and
meaning to his ideas. He was saying that his works were just as important as the Bible.
-Mabel and Dr. Ferguson are ‘born again’ into this new religion of love.
-Love has a redemptive force.
-D.H wasn’t the first one to think this. More and more people were putting their faith in
-D.H thinks of love as spiritual, and physical satisfaction. He says that his novel is
-Novelist comes into a piano to retune it, make it vibrate with life.
-Novelist = Piano Tuner
-Morality is Natural (doesn’t come from church)
-Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie; the desire to be honest, it is what it is.
-Victorian women were led to believe that sexual feelings were bad. Lawrence counters
this and gives validity to their desires.
-Key Question: What’s Mabel going to do?
-No coincidence that Mabel falls in love with a healer.
Brief Summary of the “Parts”
September 16, 2010
-Mabel is living in Pervin House, Old Meadow.
-Trying to leave her old life behind (drudge for her dad, and is now a drudge for her
-Mabel’s brothers treat her like an animal. Brutally, refer to her as dog-like
-She is ‘merely dead’ not alive in mind, body and spirit according to the author
-Mabel goes to be with the only person who she ever had affection for (her mom) so
she tries to kill herself to be closer to her mom.
-Her life has been like a death within life
-You must confront death in order to live life fully.
-You can’t life life fully until you recognize your own mortality.
-Return to Old Meadow, achieve this higher level of consciousness, a sense of a
-They become WHOLE man and woman.
-Leave Old Meadow, come back again with a brighter future.
-Last Supper: The last breakfast at Old Meadow.
-Central Man: Joe (Joseph, 33 years old, age of Christ at the crucifixion)
-Who is the Christ Figure here?
-You are what you observe - Joe observing the horses shows that he is a horse,
a charmed animal. So he’s not Christ.
-Mabel is the Christ Figure. Undertakes the journey to love.
- Also a Cinderella Parallel here: 1 girl with 3 ugly brothers.