A Character Analysis of Dr. Jack Fergusson in D.H. Lawrence’s “the Horse Dealer’s Daughter”

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We all must seek a doctor’s medical expertise from time to time. These are people that are respected, admired, and literally trusted with lives. Most people believe that anyone who has gone through the education and training it takes to become a doctor must undoubtedly have it all together. They are expected to be confident and decisive individuals. Some may forget that they are people just like everyone else and that they face many of the same issues that all do in their personal lives. D.H. Lawrence portrays a lonely man with a thoroughly contradictory personality in the character of Dr. Jack Fergusson in “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter.” From the moment we are introduced to Dr. Jack Fergusson, we find that he is zealous about his role as the town’s doctor. He admits that he has an awful cold, and yet he is on his way to begin his workday. When asked “Why don’t you stop in?,” he replies, “Me stop in? When I can’t stand on my legs, perhaps I shall have a chance” (740). This quote demonstrates his dedication to his work as he claims he will have to be literally unable to move before he will take a break. Later in the story, as he goes about his rounds, he is described as a “mere hired assistant” and that he is a “slave to the country-side” (742). It is revealed that his job wears him out, because it is “nothing but work, drudgery, constant hastening from dwelling to dwelling” and he doesn’t like the town where he lives and works. The narrator states, “He grumbled, he said he hated the hellish hole.” Furthermore, he feels superior to the working class people he serves, thinking of them as “rough, inarticulate, powerfully emotional men and women” (743). Yet, along with all of these thoughts it is also stated that “he had a craving for it” and “his nerves were excited and gratified” that “contact with the rough, strongly-feeling people was a stimulant

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