How is animal imagery used and how it is integrated into "The Horse Dealer's Daughter"?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Significantly, animal imagery is used to describe Mabel when she is naked and after she comes round when Fergusson revives her after she tries to drown herself. This of course is highly significant, because it seems to emphasise the way in which the overpowering sensuality of this encounter relates more to the sexual drive of animals than to the reasoned and rational approach of humans. Lawrence seems to be suggesting that there is more of the animal in us than we would like to admit. Consider the following example:

He looked down at the tangled wet hair, the wild, bare, animal shoulders. He was amazed, bewildered and afraid.

Note how the description of Mabel's "animal shoulders" is coupled with Fergussons fear and amazement that he is so easily overpowered by love. Although Fergusson and we as humans believe that we are separate from animals because of our ability to reason, this story argues that humans have animal instincts and drives that often overpower that reason.

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