Contrasting the Hero and the Heroine in the Stereotypical Love Story and ‘The Horse Dealer’s Daughter’


The love story that D.H. Lawrence presents, “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter,” differs broadly from a stereotypical romantic love stories. There are sharp differences between the hero and the heroine in these two scenerios. These differences are portrayed in terms of the physical appearance, state of emotional and physical health, their actions and the circumstances in which they fall in love. This paper will analyze these differences drawing the scenarios from the stated story and comparing it with the common traditional love stories.

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The differences

Concerning their physical appearance, Mabel was not beautiful and Ferguson was unattractive. The story describes that Mabel could have been good-looking, save for the impassive fixity of her face. Fergusson is also portrayed as having a long and pale face and his eyes looked tired. On the other hand, the heroine in traditional romantic love stories is portrayed as being very beautiful such that everyone would like to have her. She is always the most beautiful in the village and the hero is usually the most handsome man in the village. The circumstances that made them fall in love also present another sharp contrast. For instance, Mabel holds and believes that Fergusson loves her simply because he saved her life. He holds that he must love her and continue taking care of her. On the other hand, Fergusson had helped her just as he would have helped any other victim since he was a doctor. We also find that the situation that pushes Fergusson to love her is very weird. He develops love because of immediate physical contact and not emotional. Just because he could do nothing, he lets Mabel continue kissing and clutching onto him and there he develops the love feelings. It is also evident that Fergusson did not initially love Mabel and never intended to do so.

On the other hand, in the traditional romantic love stories, the two lovers develop feelings for each other equally. They are brought together by some kind of un-explainable force. When they meet, they realize that they already have feelings for each other. Moreover, it would take several days or months and sometimes years, for one to convince the other that they should be together. This does not mean that the withdrawing party does not love the other; it is a way of fighting for their love. They are also portrayed as facing a lot of rebellion from other involved people before they finally settle.

Another sharp contrast appears in their actions. We find that Mabel is the one who convinces and even forces Fergusson to love her. When finally, Fergusson falls in to her trap, and proposes to marry her, she refuses. This is very ironical since she seemed to be the one who wanted Fergusson in the first place. She asserts that she is “awful” and does not deserve him. This is very different from the traditional love stories where the initiator is often very delighted that the other person has accepted. In most of these stories, the Hero approaches the Heroine and presents his feelings to her. The Hero does not afterwards decline the chance if the Heroine later accepts the offer. Rather, he becomes very glad and happy. Moreover, Mable’s attempt at suicide shows that she is not similar to ambitious stereotypical romantic Heroine. This clearly illustrates that she suffers from physical problems. The romantic Heroine in traditional love story is portrayed as one who is very eager, ambitious and determined. There were some aspects of Fergusson’s actions that also drew sharp differences. The Hero here did not show any signs of interest for the Heroine. Even after he rescues her, he did not admire her but was doing it merely because he was a doctor. It is expected that he would develop feeling for her even in he course of giving her the first aid considering that he had even undressed her. It is also evident that he did no have any special feelings for her because he felt pain and anger as he gave in to her demands. He lacks the enthusiasm and the confidence portrayed in the stereotypical hero who will openly make her feelings known to the Heroine.

The other contrast is the location and situation where their love develops. It develops in a very unpleasant situation and place. The situation was very unpleasant since it occurred within a tragedy that could have caused death. Moreover, the Pond was not a romantic place. In stereotypical romantic relationships, the situation that brings the Hero and the Heroine together is always very pleasant and romantic. It occurs in a situation where there is a lot of peace and happiness. It will also often take place in a very beautiful place, which portrays nature as an element that also bonds them together.


There is a sharp difference between the hero and the heroine in the story” The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” by D.H. Lawrence and a romantic hero and heroine in traditional love story. Lawrence presents a unique and different story of love that is not commonly seen in the stereotypical traditional romantic stories. He reveals the difference in various scenerios that occurs in the story. These instances include the place of their meeting, which is the pond. It is portrayed as an unpleasant place of meeting. The other occurrence is the description of their physical characteristics. They are not portrayed as beautiful, charming or handsome as is usually stereotyped in traditional romantic love story. The other areas of contrast were their actions in different situations. These include the refusal of Mabel to marry Fergusson after he gives in to her advances and the rigidness of the Hero in approaching the Heroine.

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