The Horse Dealer's Daughter by D. H. Lawrence

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In "The Horse Dealer's Daughter," how does the narrative voice suit the story's effect? How does the third person narrative suit the effect of the story?

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D. H. Lawrence chose a third person narrator for this story. Writing in the third person, the author works within realism by providing a broad view of both major characters’ experiences and insights into their actions. Mabel emerges as the protagonist, a sympathetic figure in contrast to her insensitive brothers. Once Doctor Fergusson enters the story, the reader also learns elements of his position. Rather than looking inside her mind as she decides on suicide, an external view of her actions is provided. The doctor witnesses her walking into the pond and rescues her.

The limitations on the third person perspective also add suspense to the story. We are not privileged to learn about Mabel’s prior emotional attachment to Fergusson but are left to surmise how and when her feelings developed. Similarly, we do not learn if he had begun to love her earlier or even if, as she flatly states, he does love her at the point when he pulls her out of the water. Back at the house in front of the...

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