The University of Toronto at Scarborough

ENGB02Y: English Literature: Historical Survey (Spring Term)

Instructor: Melba Cuddy-Keane

D. H. Lawrence, "The Horse Dealer's Daughter"

Lawrence's approach has much in common with Freud's, in its focus on the power of the unconscious; but whereas Freud emphasized the deterministic nature of human psychology, Lawrence emphasized the creative power of the unconscious, seeing it an as inexhaustible source of energy and of good; for Lawrence "unconscious" replaced the word "soul."

How does Lawrence represent his characters as living more vitally at a subterranean unconscious level? How does this approach make them very powerful and at the same time difficult to understand or to explain? How is this different approach seen in the way that "love" is represented?

Examine the way Lawrence represents his characters' "thinking": look at the rhythms of the sentences, the use of repetition, the kinds of words and images he uses.

Lawrence's writing (like Carlyle's) shows the influence of a Protestant background. How does Lawrence rewrite (and secularize) the experiences of conversion, baptism, rebirth? Despite the "conversion" experience, the ending is still incomplete, unfinished, unsettling. What elements make it an "open" rather than a "closed" ending?

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