Analyzing The Horse Dealer S Daughter English Literature Essay

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1st Jan 1970 English Literature Reference this

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What defines males from females? Many times people can name off many physical characteristics that tend to be commonly known differences between males and females. For example: males tend to have some of the following-shorter hair, wear looser fitting clothing, shorter fingernails, chest hair, facial hair, more bodily hair in general, taller, stronger, deeper voice, thicker skin, more physically aggressive and more physical jobs (such as, mining, construction, farming, surgeons and engineering). Whereas, women tend to have some of the following-longer hair, wear tighter fitting clothing, longer fingernails, less bodily hair, average height, higher pitch voice, softer/thinner skin, express emotions openly and tend to have jobs helping people (nurses) or working with children (daycare, teacher). These physical characteristics are not the only thing that may differentiate males and females; there are many other characteristics that may also be present.

“The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” by D.H. Lawrence is about a girl, Mabel, who lives at home with her three brothers. They are all sitting around the table after their father’s death, which left them in major debt. However, Mabel’s brothers are able to go off and find work; whereas Mabel is in a predicament on what to do. (All she has ever known is taking care of the house and fulfilling that role of her mother after she had died.) The stereotypes I have stated earlier are shown throughout this short story with the differences between males and females.

Mabel’s brothers were able to go off and find a job and are able to bring home money for themselves. As Lawrence states, Joe was

Since they know what they are doing with their life this leaves her brothers concerned about what she is going to do because they

They bring up the option of Mabel going and staying with their sister, Lucy; because as her brother Fred states,

Implying that it isn’t common for women to go out and have jobs, like men do, to bring home money.

However, going to live with her sister, Lucy, is not what Mabel wants to do. She wants to stay at the house and continue to be the motherly figure, along with taking of others, her brothers, with doing the household chores. Even though the house was

Meaning that she would not have anyone to care for but herself. She is still use to doing those household chores. Lawrence explains this as he states

All of these go along with the typical women stereotype that they are in charge of the housework and keeping things tidy for the others.

Even though Mabel’s life consisted of this work and fell under the female stereotype, she still felt

However, now that there was no money due to the debt they were left in, Mable had become threaten with what she was going to do with her life. Because

and not knowing what to do. The debt has caused her to lose all her confidence, of how important the housework (she did) really was. Which is shown when Lawrence states

With them being in debt and only knowing the housework, this had brought

Meaning that Mabel did not see any good in her life anymore because she did not have the household chores to do or the opportunity to take care of others. This causes her to decide the best thing for her would to be dead along with her mother. This is shown as Lawrence explains how Mabel

As Dr. Jack Furguson watches her slowly try and kill herself he feels the need to do something about it. This is where the male stereotype of being the protectors of their family and others comes into play and being present in Dr. Jack Furguson. Males have the tendency to feel and provide protection over their family and others but also are tend to known to be stronger than females, which is shown as Lawrence describes the following about Dr. Jack Furguson. Dr. Jack Furguson went into the pond after Mabel to save and protect her. Lawrence states

After Dr. Jack Furguson saved her life he took her back to get her out of her wet clothes and to get her warmed up.

he did it out of protecting her and saving her, but also because he is a doctor and the need he feels to help others due to his profession. However, the male stereotype of being protective of their family and others caused a problem between Mabel and Dr. Jack Furguson. Mabel didn’t see him as just being protective but as him doing this because of the love he felt for her. This resulted her and believing that he loved her and her having that feeling of being able to take care of and do housework for someone again.

“The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” by D.H. Lawrence showed many different examples of the stereotypes between males and females. These stereotypes explicitly show us the gender differences between two people. Another short story that shows us gender differences between two people is “The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck. “The Chrysanthemums” not only shows gender differences but also how the male and female stereotypes are not always true or accurate.

As in “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter,” besides the housework that is a typical stereotype for females, there is also the garden work that they tend to do. This is shown in the short story “The Chrysanthemums.” As Elisa works in her garden with her chrysanthemums it is seen how this is her pride and joy; just as the housework was for Mabel. Steinbeck shows how important Elisa’s gardening is to her as he describes all the time that she spends there. For example, cutting the old, getting the new crop ready and how to care for them.

Elisa’s chrysanthemums is what she cares about and what she wants to take care of; just as Mabel wanted to be able to do housework and take care of others, her brothers. Not only was the stereotype for the females shown in this short story but also for males. This is shown first as her husband had asked her if she wanted to go out to eat for dinner but then after that if she wanted to go the fights. Males wanting to watch and go to the fights can be related to their more physically aggressive behavior and how they find the fights to be appealing to them. Not only does her husband have somewhat of a stereotype of males but so does the guy who stops and talks to her on his way by.

The man came off with having at least one of the physical characteristics of males such as being tall, strong and a man who works to bring home the money

The man made general conversation with Elisa but then begin to tell her about what he does for work and how he is looking for work to do in order to bring home the money for his food.

Elisa goes on to tell the man that she doesn’t as she continues to work with her chrysanthemums. Then the man states how this is his job and needing the work by saying

The previous sentence shows how work and bringing home the money for food or care for himself, family or others is very important to men and goes along with their stereotype of being workers and typically protective and in charge of making sure everyone gets what they need in life. As they continue on with their conversation and the man finds some common ground, her plants, to talk to her about; he is slowly able to convince her of giving into him. He asks for some plants and then for a pot to fix too. With females falling under the stereotype that they do, Elisa wants to be able to take care of others; so she ends up feeling sorry for the man and gives him some of her chrysanthemums and a pot.

Even though Elisa falls into the typical female stereotype she is still able to move beyond these gender roles. This is shown later in the short story when Elisa and her husband are going to go out to eat and she wants wine at dinner. This is not the only thing that shows Elisa moving beyond her gender roles but also when she talks to Henry, her husband, about the fights and states

This statement is showing her going beyond her gender roles because most females typically are not interested in fighting, weather that be watching it or reading about it.

In conclusion, both short stories “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” and “The Chrysanthemums” portray gender differences by the authors using examples that relate to the typical stereotypes seen in males and females. The issues the authors portray of the societies describes how most people tend to have these male and female stereotypes and that these are what most people tend to believe and follow and think or relate too. However, as in “The Chrysanthemums” these stereotypes for males and females are not always true for everyone.

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