Why does Ferguson rescue Mabel?

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Fergusson’s rescue of Mabel is described in paragraphs 110–115. The setting is wetness, dankness, muckiness, and a foul smell (the smell is mentioned a number of times). To determine how this setting reinforces mood and idea, one must conclude that Lawrence, by the rescue, is suggesting that even though unpleasantness is necessary in life, and though at times the environment is ugly and threatening, there can nevertheless be good results. In paragraph 150, Lawrence’s narrator emphasizes Fergusson’s lack of intention about Mabel, and thus the story brings out the idea that love is irresistible and overwhelming. To live without love leads people, literally, to the dead end in which both Mabel and Jack find themselves in the first part of the story. Therefore, the discovery of love is a power that cannot be resisted, for without love there is no life.

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