Citation
All the queen's horses

Material Information

Title:
All the queen's horses the reign of the horse in Victorian literature
Added title page title:
Reign of the horse in Victorian literature
Creator:
Keller, Sarah ( author )
Place of Publication:
Denver, Colo.
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 electronic file (66 pages) : ;

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( Master of arts)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of English, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Horses in literature ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Review:
The widespread knowledge of and familiarity with horses in the 19th century rendered them a fitting subject for authors to mold into a variety of symbolic meanings within their literature. This essay considers the evolution and complexity of the symbol of the horse throughout 19th century literature and the insight equestrian symbolism provides into broader topics like gender relations, class relations, and the rise of new forms of technology in the later part of the era. In early 19th century literature, authors employ equestrian symbolism as a means of providing cautionary insight into female conduct surrounding intimate relationships. This symbol is adopted and adapted by various other writers of cautionary romances in the Victorian era (1837-1901), including George Eliot in Mill on the Floss and Thomas Hardy in Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Later in the era, equestrian symbolism is applied to themes like sport and gambling through the image of the racehorse. This literary refashioning of the horse in George Moore's Esther Waters and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventure of the Silver Blaze provides insight into the changing culture at the turn of the 20th century. Additionally, the essay considers the legacy of equestrian symbolism amidst the rise of new forms of media like film and photography. The essay provides a critical approach to the symbol of the horse and its implications in the 19th century world of changes in technology and gender relations.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
System Details:
System requirements: Adobe Reader.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Sarah Keller.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver Collections
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
983467944 ( OCLC )
ocn983467944
Classification:
LD1193.L54 2016m K45 ( lcc )

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text
ALL THE QUEEN'S HORSES:
THE REIGN OF THE HORSE IN VICTORIAN LITERATURE
by
SARAH KELLER
BA, University of Colorado, Boulder 2013
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado Denver in partial fulfillment Of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts English Literature Program
2016


This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Sarah Keller
has been approved for the English Literature Program by
Bradford Mudge, Chair Gillian Silverman Jeffrey Franklin
Date December 17. 2016
ii


Keller, Sarah (M.A., English Literature)
All the Queen's Horses: The Reign of the Horse in Victorian Literature Thesis directed by Professor Bradford Mudge
ABSTRACT
The widespread knowledge of and familiarity with horses in the 19th century rendered them a fitting subject for authors to mold into a variety of symbolic meanings within their literature. This essay considers the evolution and complexity of the symbol of the horse throughout 19th century literature and the insight equestrian symbolism provides into broader topics like gender relations, class relations, and the rise of new forms of technology in the later part of the era.
In early 19th century literature, authors employ equestrian symbolism as a means of providing cautionary insight into female conduct surrounding intimate relationships. This symbol is adopted and adapted by various other writers of cautionary romances in the Victorian era (1837-1901), including George Eliot in Mill on the Floss and Thomas Hardy in Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Later in the era, equestrian symbolism is applied to themes like sport and gambling through the image of the racehorse. This literary refashioning of the horse in George Moore's Esther Waters and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventure of the Silver Blaze provides insight into the changing culture at the turn of the 20th century. Additionally, the essay considers the legacy of equestrian symbolism amidst the rise of new forms of media like film and photography. The essay provides a critical approach to the symbol of the horse and its implications in the 19th century world of changes in technology and gender relations.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Bradford Mudge


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INRODUCTION.......................................................1
II. TURN OF THE CENTURY FOUNDATIONS...................................3
III. THE VICTORIAN TRANSFORMATION.....................................12
For What it's Worth: Horses and Class Dynamics...................12
Taking a Gambol: Horses and Sport................................34
Multimedia Mares: Horses in Film and Photography.................48
WORKS CITED...................................................................56
APPENDIX......................................................................58
IV


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
In one of the opening scenes from Hard Times by the quintessential Victorian novelist, Charles Dickens, schoolmaster Mr. Gradgrind presses his pupil Sissy Jupe, "give me your definition of a horse"
(7). Despite the fact that Sissy Jupe's father "belongs to the horse-riding" profession, she is "thrown into the greatest alarm by this demand" (Dickens 7). While Gradgrind assumes this alarm is caused by the fact that she is "possessed of no facts, in reference to one of the commonest of animals," Sissy's inability to "define a horse" instead acknowledges the complexity of the meaning behind horses within Victorian culture (Dickens 7). Sissy's hesitation in defining a horse provides a truer representation of the expansive meaning of a horse than the comically straightforward definition provided by her classmate, Bitzer. In this scene of Hard Times, Dickens points out the complexity behind the image of the horse in 19th century art, literature, and culture. Thus, this scene provides an introduction for the deeper investigation of how the use of equestrian symbolism developed and changed throughout the century.
As a symbol of status and a primary means of transportation in the 19th century, horses were indispensible to Victorian society. The widespread knowledge of and familiarity with horses rendered them a fitting subject for authors to mold into a variety of symbolic meanings within their literature. As demonstrated in the art and literature of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the symbol of the horse was commonly associated with themes of passionate love. This latent meaning remained a major aspect of equestrian symbolism throughout the later part of the 19th century. However, throughout the Victorian era equestrian symbolism served to signal the rise in middle-class ideologies and the horseowning male protagonists within literature became increasingly disreputable. While equestrian symbolism in Victorian literature maintained a similar role as it did in literature from the turn of the 19th century as an indicator of the passionate affection and economic prosperity of the man behind the horse, the desirability of such a man as an ideal suitor dramatically decreases over the course of the
1


Victorian period as the preceding era's values of acquiring wealth through the marriage market were
replaced by ideologies criticizing the decadence and imprudence of aristocratic classes and praising more independent means of economic accrual for women.
2


CHAPTER II
TURN OF THE CENTURY FOUNDATIONS
The connection between horses and sexuality was a theme found throughout English popular culture in the 19th century. The thematic association between the horse and sexual dissolution appears in an illustration by Piercy Roberts (after George Woodward) from 1803 entitled, An Enquiry after Stretchit in Gloucestershire or the Sailor's Reply (Figures 1.1 and 1.2). The image depicts a comely young lady of eligible age riding astride on horseback with legs wide apart and ankles showing. The woman has stopped her horse to ask a seemingly lecherous young man afoot, "Pray Sir, is this the way to Stretch it?" The sailor-type figure, with a fist on his hip and a parted stance gives the snide reply "Shiver my topsails my Lass if I know a better way." His response is meant to insinuate that that her manner of riding horseback "is the way to stretch" her sexual integrity along with her legs. By employing the horse as a symbolic indicator of the latent themes of sexuality, this text provides insight into the Victorian anxieties surrounding the purity and chastity of women. The comic additionally demonstrates the familiarity in Victorian society with the association between the image of the horse and themes of dissipation in romantic relationships. This connection between the symbol of the horse and precautions against sexual lascivity appear throughout 19th century literature.
English literature from the turn of the 19th century demonstrates a propensity for employing the symbol of the horse as a means of insinuating the sexual integrity (or immorality) of a character. Many of the era's quintessential novels provide a foundation in their use of equestrian symbolism for the successive Victorian era's application of the image. One of the most significant contributors to this Georgian foundation of equestrian symbolism is the archetypal Jane Austen.
The theme of love is fundamental to the works of Jane Austen. Yet, Austen develops the theme of love in more intricate ways than simply relying on the interactions between characters; her utilization of more inventive literary components to develop the theme demonstrates the complexity of author's
3


consideration of the topic. Through the symbol of the horse, Austen demonstrates how, in rightly ordered love, passionate affection is balanced with reason and courtesy. Austen's texts provide a groundwork for the literary association between the image of the horse and precautionary themes regarding love and marriage.
Throughout 18th- and 19th-century England, horses maintained both social and literary importance. As a common element of daily life during Austen's era, the horse was charged with social significance. All Things Austen: A Concise Encyclopedia of Austen's World states, "horseback riding was considered to be exceptionally good exercise, especially for ladies" (reference). The Mirror of the Graces recommended it in order to foster and maintain beauty," suggesting a connection between horseback riding and feminine desirability (Olsen 357). The fact that "in the 18th-century racehorse owners gave their mares flirtingly erotic names," suggests the connotation of passionate love that surrounded the horse in that era (Nicolson 31). With these pre-established undertones regarding horses and horseback riding, Austen adopts the image as a literary trope to explore the theme of love. The author assimilates these social connotations of the horse in her own works and uses them to her advantage to advance her position on rightly ordered love. This consideration of the theme of love through the representation of the horse foreruns a trend in Victorian literature.
For Austen, the symbolism of the horse connotes passionate love and ardent desire (if not quite the outright transgression against sexual propriety the horse symbolizes for her literary successors). In her chronology of works published within her lifetime, Austen applies the technique of the horse motif as a signifier of love as early as Sense and Sensibility by including the gift of a horse Marianne receives from her lover Willoughby. Establishing further correlation between the horse and love, Austen names the horse Queen Mab after the fairy of that name in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet who "gallops night by night/ Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love/ O're ladies' lips, who straight on
4


kisses dream" (Act I Scene 4). Marianne's relationship with Willoughby epitomizes a love derived from pleasure and passionpassion that the symbol of the horse distinctly signifies.
The image of the horse as a symbol of passionate love, also appears in the novel Mansfield Park, and is used to suggest that "Fanny also has something of Marianne Dashwood's 'enthusiasm' (though not quite her 'passion')" in love (Williams 83). Fanny Price, like Marianne Dashwood, receives the gift of a horse from the man she loves, establishing a correlation between the image of the horse and the theme of love in Austen's works. Fanny's unbeknownst love interest, Edmund, is adamant in professing that "Fanny must have a horse" (32). In reference to this event, Karyn Lehner notes that, in obtaining a horse for Fanny, Edmund "is acknowledging Fanny's sexual maturity by giving her the means to appear as an object of desire" (84). Through this image of the horse, "Jane Austen explores feelings ... in socially acceptable forms. ... in the ways that characters engage in pleasurable activities. Although firmly placed in the background, the motifs of horses and recreational riding demonstrate the subtlety of Austen's disclosure" of the importance of passion and affection in love and marriage (Lehner 83). Lehner goes on to describe "Mansfield Park's attention to horse riding ... as [a] socially sanctioned [occasion] for the expression of desire" (89). In Austen's novel, the theme of passionate affection in love is highlighted in the opposition between Fanny Price and Mary Crawford in vying for Edmund's affection and their corresponding turns riding Edmund's horse. In "the matter of the riding-lessons for Mary Crawford. There are complexities created by Fanny's established but secret love for Edmund: it was Edmund who reasoned Fanny out of her fears when she began to ride; it was Edmund who later acquired a horse, himself, for her use. Now she has to watch Mary learning to ride on the same horse" (Williams 101). The pain of watching Mary ride with Edmund is a result of the deep-rooted affection Fanny has for Edmund. Lehner describes this effect on Fanny in suggesting, "Mary has taken her place on the mare so carefully selected by Edmund as an ideal mount for a now adult Fanny. Fanny perceives, though she resists fully understanding it, that horsemanship in a woman is erotically attractive" and that
5


Mary has taken her place in a romantic relationship with Edmund (Lehner 85). However, through perseverance in affection, Fanny ultimately gains the object of her devotion. In the scene where Edmund relinquishes Mary Crawford and deems the heroine "my Fannymy only sistermy only comfort now," Austen establishes a connection between the motif of the horse and Fanny's passionate delight by describing, when "the carriage came. .. how her heart swelled with joy and gratitude" {Mansfield Park 367-368). As a manifestation of triumph in steadfast perseverance, Fanny's character suggests the essentiality of affection as a motivation for love and marriage.
Austen also establishes a connection between passion in love and the depiction of the horse in her novel, Emma. Frank Churchill, a character distinctly driven by his passions, is the subject around which much of Austen's equine imagery revolves. When Frank Churchill is first introduced into the plot, he approaches Emma (whom he flirtatiously employs as a facade to conceal his undisclosed engagement to Jane Fairfax) with the question, "was she a horsewoman?" (Austen, Emma 138). Later in the novel, Austen describes Frank Churchill's passionate love for Jane Fairfax by describing his restless anticipation of Miss Fairfax's arrival to the Weston ball, saying: "he was watching for the sound of other carriages. .
. a carriage was heard. He was on the move immediately" (232). Frank Churchill's restlessness in conjunction with the image of the carriage conveys Frank's passionate love for Jane and reveals Austen's conviction on the importance of marrying for affection. Later in the novel, Emma's curiosity of "who is that gentleman on horseback?" is answered by the knowledge that Frank Churchill had just departed from the Weston household after openly confessing his love for and engagement to Miss Fairfax (287). Austen's use of pun also helps to establish a correlation between horses and passionate affection through the concern that Jane Fairfax, in duet with her secret lover, will "sing herself hoarse" (166). Frank Churchill's passionate affection in love (apparently toward Emma, more discreetly toward Jane) is the "one respect" in which "he is the object of [Mr. Knightley's] envy" (312). This envy demonstrates how passion is the middle ground between Mr. Churchill and Mr. Knightley. Mr. Knightley's character
6


forwards Austen's conviction regarding the indispensability of passion in relationships of love, and serves to further the thematic correlation between passionate love and the equestrian symbol. The trip to Donwell is one of the first instances in which the audience becomes aware of Mr. Knightley's love for Emma and intention to marry. The scene begins with Mr. Knightley's confessing to Mrs. Elton that "there is but one married woman in the world whom I can ever allow to invite what guest she pleases to Donwell, and that one is .. Mrs. Knightley; and till she is in being, I will manage such matters myself" (258). With this confession in mind, it is important to note that, from Donwell, "the gentlemen [went] on horseback" to Box Hill (267). This subtle allusion to Mr. Knightley's fondness for Emma is augmented in the description of his "going on horseback" to London to confront his passionate feelings for Emma and his return to Hartfield when "he had ridden home through the rain" to see Emma and, unpremeditatedly propose to her (315). While Mr. Knightley has access to a number of means of transportation, Austen explicitly divulges that his travels were by horseback (as opposed to traveling by coach or post chase) as a means of subtly indicating Mr. Knightley's mounting desires for Emma. This interpretation helps to demonstrate how, for Austen, the image of the horse serves as an indicator to alert the audience to passionate affection in love.
The connection between horseback riding and passionate love echoes the major theme of Pride and Prejudice regarding the importance of marrying for affection. This theme comes to the forefront in the disagreement between Charlotte, who believes "happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance," and Elizabeth, who believes that marriage ought to be the consequence of love, and desires to "be certain of the degree of her own regard, [and] its reasonableness" before committing to marriage (23). However, by establishing reason as a necessary counterpart to affection, Austen warns against love driven by unbridled passion symbolically represented by riding horseback.
While Austen advocates for marriages of affection, she also establishes that there is more to love than passion and sentiment. As coachmen laboriously bridle horses for ease in the steering of
7


carriages, Austen argues that lovers must bridle their passions with altruism and reason to maintain accord in marriages. Her novels provide insight into the idea that "reason and feeling are the two sides of the human personality which Jane Austen, as a true child of the Enlightenment, advocates should be kept in balance. Head and heart, prudence and romance, sense and sensibilityin whatever pairings reason and feeling manifest themselves, all require the check of their opposite quality" (Lane 96). Austen establishes this connection between reason and passion in Isabella's confession that "good horsemanship has a great deal to do with the mind" {Mansfield Park 59). Austen forwards her position that love has as much to do with the mind as the heart through her development of the character of Fanny Price and the equine motif. As a central figure in Mansfield Park, "Fanny herself is the usual compound of feeling and reason that any Jane Austen heroine must be," and thus exemplifies the importance of balancing passion and reason in relationships of love (Lane 104). As a parallel to Marianne Dashwood as recipient of a gift horse, Fanny echoes the theme established in Sense and Sensibility that sensibility must be checked by sense. Regarding the matter of Willoughby's gift, Marianne (Sensibility) must be counseled by Elinor (Sense) to "awaken from such a dream of felicity to comprehend all the unhappy truths which attended the affair," a precaution more naturally heeded by Fanny in her own relationships (Sense and Sensibility 54, emphasis mine). Austen exemplifies the importance of reason particularly through Fanny's relation to the Crawfords. The theme of reason revolves around horses when Mary entreats her brother "ride with me"; but Henry, lately fallen in love with Fanny, replies, "I shall be happy to do [so], but that would be exercise only to my body, and I must take care of my mind. Besides, that would be all recreation and indulgence" (191). In endeavor to win over Fanny's heart, Henry recognizes that he must refine his intellect. He praises Fanny as "the sort of woman it is that can attach ... a man of sense" (245). His failure to balance his passions with reason successfully means, "at the end of Mansfield Park, Henry Crawford has to live with the misery of having,
8


by his own misdeeds, 'lost the woman whom he had rationally, as well as passionately, loved'" (Lane
104).
Austen expounds upon the need to engage reason to check the passionate love (indicated by the image of the horse) in her novel Emma as well. Mr. Knightley's name itself speaks to a tradition of chivalry and civility. In the Medieval Ages, the mark of a knight was his golden spurs denoting his master horsemanship. A knight, however, was equally notorious for his honor in upholding the respectful codes of chivalry. Austen plays with this dualistic representation through the character of Mr. Knightley to demonstrate how the spurs of tenderheartedness must direct the horse of passionate love. For Austen, "there is no charm equal to tenderness of heart," and no character exhibits kindness so authentically as does Mr. Knightley (195). One instance in which Mr. Knightley demonstrates the importance of chivalry in love is the scene in which he hires a carriage for the ball. With a focus on Emma's perspective, Austen's initial depiction of Mr. Knightley's carriage ride connotes his ardent love for Emma. Austen describes how Emma "followed another carriage to Mr. Cole's door; and was pleased to see that it was Mr. Knightley's" (154). Emma praises Mr. Knightley's use of horses saying, "'this is coming as you should do like a gentleman. I am quite glad to see you.' He thanked her for observing, 'How lucky that we should arrive at the same moment; for, if we had met first in the drawing room.. you might not have distinguished how I came,"' suggesting Emma would not have noticed the horses that connote his love for her (154). However, the reader later discovers that Mr. Knightley "would not have had a pair of horses for himself, and that it was only as an excuse for assisting" Miss Fairfax (162). This description suggests that Mr. Knightley's passionate affection derives from his general altruism. Mr. Knightley proves his capacity to love Emma singularly through his demonstration of chivalrous respect for women universally. The bridled horses of the carriage employed to convey Jane Fairfax symbolize how his passionate love for Emma is bridled by his courtesy toward all.
9


Relying further on the equestrian image of the carriage, Austen establishes the connection
between common courtesy and affectionate love through the scene at Box Hill. Mr. Knightley takes measures to instruct Emma in the ways of kindness when, "while waiting for the carriage, she found Mr. Knightley by her side. He looked around, as if to see that no one were near, and then said: 'I cannot see you acting wrong without a remonstrance. How could you be so unfeeling. ... so insolent in your wit to a woman of her character, age, and situation?" (273). This counsel on civility is coupled with a revelation of the deep affection between Mr. Knightley and Emma when Austen describes that "while they talked they were advancing towards the carriage; it was ready; and, before she could speak again, he had handed her in. She was most forcibly struck. She felt it at her heart" (273-274). In this scene, Austen connects the image of the horse to the theme of love in subtly expressing how genuine love balances the passionate regard of another with the virtuous regard for the good of others. Mr. Knightley's handing Emma into the carriage parallels the heightening of her mind in thinking over what she has done and the augmentation of her character in determining to amend her uncivil behavior.
In her novels, Jane Austen transforms the commonplace image of the horse into a subtle allusion to the theme of love by placing the equine image among scenes and characters of passionate affection. Austen underscores the importance of rightly ordered passion in relationships through the correlation between affection and the pleasure of horseback riding. However, continuing the extended metaphor of the horse, the author reveals that love and marriage are not merely a matter of passion, but must also involve reason and altruism. Through the subtle details of character and theme development that surround her depiction of horses, Jane Austen draws attention to the importance of engaging affection, sense, and kindness in relationships, and reveals the consequences of unbalanced affection and the rewards of rightly ordered love.
With Austen as a model, equestrian symbolism in turn of the century literature functions as an indicator of both aristocratic wealth and passionate romance. This twofold symbolism reflects the
10


period's ideals that the aristocratic wealth and decorous behavior are inextricably connected and that
through the marriage market, respectable women have access to financial gain and social advancement. Throughout the literature of the turn of the century, the horse represents the affluence and ardor of its male rider. While themes of wealth and love remain a major allusion of equestrian symbolism in Victorian era, with the changing perspectives of the era, the horse becomes less an indicator of the ideal suitor, and more an indicator of aristocratic corruption and increasing economic opportunity for women independent of marriage.
11


CHAPTER III
THE VICTORIAN TRANSFORMATION For What it's Worth: Horses and Class Dynamics
As integral as the image of the horse was in early 19th century literature, the significance of the symbol only increased with the rise of the Victorian age. Elise Michie comments that, "while one might have expected that, as English society moved into the Victorian period, the horse would become less socially important, an anachronistic vestige of a land-owning past, in fact the opposite was true. .. the nineteenth century became the great age of the horse" (149). With Austen laying the foundation for the literary technique of equestrian symbolism in early 19th century fiction, Victorian authors reworked the technique of equestrian symbolism beyond a mere allusion to love in order to explore the impact of the era's many societal changes. Through such multifaceted allusion across gendered subjects like love, politics, economics, sport, etc., the horse became a symbol in Victorian literature that was able comment on the shifting gender dynamics within the drastically changing society. While in Austen's time the symbol of the horse suggested the desirability of its gentleman owner, in Victorian literature, the horse becomes an indicator of the increasing undesirability of being association with members of the landed aristocracy: a shift that parallels the changing perspectives of Victorian society at large. A more-or-less chronological examination of the era's arts and literature demonstrate the era's consideration of the increasing independence of women through the symbol of the horse.
An early example of equestrian symbolism in Victorian literature is George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss. Within the novel, "horsesthe strong, submissive, meek-eyed beasts" appear as early as the first chapter, demonstrating the centrality of the image to the text (8). Eliot's early employment of this symbol not only helps to establish the rural setting of the novel, it also serves as a subtle indicator of the cautionary romance-driven plot about to ensue. Throughout the novel, the symbol maintains its traditional allusion to passionate romance.
12


The literary association between love and horses demonstrated in the relationship between
Maggie and Stephen is applied universally through the description that "if people happen to be lovers, what can be so delightful in England as a rainy morning? You gallop through it in a mackintosh, and presently find yourself in the seat you like besta little above or a little below the one on which your goddess sits" (Eliot 331). This depiction positions the horse in direct proximity to "lovers" in particular. Additionally, the subtle innuendoes involved in "the seat you like best," situated "a little above or a little below your goddess" establish the passionately romantic nature of the equine symbol's allusion.
Even in situations where the appearance of a horse is necessary to the development of the plot as merely a method of transportation, the text remains laced with references to love. One scene suggests, "there was another fluttering heart besides Maggie's when it was late enough for the sound of the gig wheels to be expected; for if Mrs. Tulliver had a strong feeling, it was fondness for her boy" (Eliot 29). Even when the horse is not explicitly mentioned, the "sound of the gig" presumably drawn by horses is directly associated with Maggie's "fluttering heart" and a "strong feeling [of] fondness." Similarly, another scene of the novel describes how, in a moment of affectionate reconciliation, the young Tom and Maggie "rubbed each other's cheeks and brows and noses together, while they ate, with humiliating resemblance to two friendly ponies. ... he was very fond of his sister, and meant always to take care of her" (Eliot 35). In this instance, the symbol of the horse does not stand for the full-fledged passion of romantic love, but the juvenile fraternal love that Victorians believed laid the groundwork for nuptial relationships in adulthood. With this in mind, it is interesting to note that the author alludes to horses in their more innocent and adolescent form as "ponies" to connote the discrepancy. These instances of equestrian symbolism within the novel uphold the standard association between horses and passionate love. However, in the case of The Mill on the Floss (along with numerous texts of the Victorian era), the symbol of the horse is transformed into a multi-faceted gender-neutral image.
13


Early in the plot, even before Maggie becomes the primary love interest of the novel, her
physical beauty is equated to that of a horse. This image is used in direct connection to themes of femininity as Maggie complains of the tediousness of the feminine chore of sewing reflecting, "'it's foolish work,' said Maggie, with a toss of her mane'tearing things to pieces to sew 'em together again'" (Eliot 13). By describing Maggie's hair (a feature commonly associate with feminine beauty and attraction) as "her mane," this passage equates the image of the horse and the suggestion of female attractiveness. Similarly, in another passage, Maggie's hair is described in equestrian terms when the narrator notes, "the black locks were so thicknothing could be more tempting to a lad who had already tasted the forbidden pleasure of cutting the pony's mane" (Eliot 55). In this scene, the sexual undertones of both hair and the symbol of the horse are augmented to the status of "tempting forbidden pleasures." These passages solidify a connection between the horsey quality of Maggie's hair and the equine signification of love. However, while allusions to the horse remain an indicator of romantic themes, the author's consideration of love is slightly different from those of Austen. Maggie's stubbornness in properly grooming herself reveals a minor shift in gender politics.
In his own critical analysis of the scene, Jose Angel Landa Garcia extrapolates that "the color and movement of Maggie's hair is a protest against [the] division of labour that grants men the world and women love" (Garcia 80). By shearing the physical feature that unites her most closely with a horse and therefore the theme of passionate love, Maggie resists the social ideology that constricts women to the singular role of lover. Maggie, in her desire to pursue education like her brother Tom, rather than maintaining her feminine appearances like her cousin Lucy in order to secure economic advancement through marriage, is a very different model of the "equestrian female" than her turn of the century counterpart Fanny, for instance, who submits to horseback riding for the sake of winning Edmund's affection. Eliot further plays with the norms of equestrian symbolism by utilizing the image of the horse later in the novel as an indicator of romantic wooing.
14


Throughout The Mill on the Floss, the image of the horse appears to signal escalating passion
between characters, continuing in the tradition of pre-Victorian literature. The association between horse and suitor appears within Eliot's novel in reference to the foppish character of Stephen Guest. Over the course of the novel, Stephen is closely associated with the image of the horse to demonstrate his hedonistic aims, which otherwise are obscured by his stunningly pleasant features. Within the novel's romantic counterplot between Stephen and Lucy, Eliot employs the image of the horse as a nod to her audience about the nature of their intimate affairs. Immediately after a scene in which the two lovers profess their ardor for one another "in long reveries about her own happy love-affairs," Lucy suggests to Stephen, "'let us go and see Sinbad.' Sinbad was Lucy's chestnut horse, that she always fed with her own hand when he was turned out in the paddock. Was not Stephen Guest right in his decided opinion that this slim maiden of eighteen was quite the sort of wife a man would not be likely to repent of marrying?" (Eliot 299). Lucy's suggestion that the couple spend time with her horse serves to spur on Stephen in his passionate love toward her and effectively initiates his contemplation of marrying Lucy. However, the man behind the horse in Eliot's novel is no idealistic gentleman, like Mr. Knightley or Mr. Darcy. While Stephen Guest may have the fortune and the passion of a Janeite hero, Eliot eventually reveals that his true character is by no means on par with these ideal suitors. Thus, the mention of the horse in this scene simultaneously functions as a cautionary foretelling of Stephen's potential infidelity as a lover governed by unchecked passion.
In a later scene of the novel, despite being engaged to Lucy, Stephen acts upon hedonistic impulse and rides to meet the recluse Maggie, residing with her aunt, to profess his love for her. The residents perceive their guest as "a gentleman on a tall bay horse; and the flanks and neck of the horse were streaked black with fast riding. Maggie felt a beating at head and hearthorrible as the sudden leaping to life of a savage enemy who had feigned death. ... 'It is Mr. Stephen Guest'" (Eliot 361). In this description, the horse becomes the primary indicator of Stephen's presence and intention. The
15


presence of the horse, as a symbol of passionate affection, gives Maggie "a beating at head and heart,
reflective of the intense emotional response she feels. The scene of his proposal to Maggie immediately following demonstrates a congruent dependence on the symbol of the horse to suggest the impetuous nature of the events. The novel recounts how
Stephen turned too, and walked by her side, leading his horse. 'I'm mad in love with you the strongest passion a man can feel. ... If I had my own choice, I should ask you to take my hand, and my fortune, and my whole life, and do what you liked with them.... a man who loves with his whole soul, as I do you, is liable to be mastered by his feelings for a moment. I've been riding thirty miles every day to get away from the thought of you. (Eliot 361-362)
In this testimony, "the strongest passion a man can feel" is coupled with the need to "ride thirty miles
every day" and the symbolic presence of "his horse" accompanying them. This application of equestrian
themes perpetuates the traditional literary association between the horse and unruly love. While the
novel continues to develop this motif throughout the text, one scene renders this literary association
particularly explicit.
In a secret ploy to make Maggie elope, Stephen convinces her to go boating with him. Yet, the symbolic indicator of the passionate ardor of the scene occurs in a description of Maggie's escape and subsequent reflection upon the events undergone. Upon her conflicted departure from the passionate temptation to elope, Maggie's route consists of "stairs descending as if in a dreamof flagstoneof a chaise and horses standingthen a street, and a turning into another street where a stagecoach was standing, taking in passengersand the darting thought that the coach would take her away" (Eliot 388). These varying modes of transportation reflect Maggie's fickle heart as she considers her situation.
The presence of horses in association with the scene of Stephen's marriage proposal and his plan for elopement demonstrate that the pursuit of self-gratification motivates his actions and that his intentions are unchecked by reason and propriety. While the symbol of the horse in pre-Victorian literature was commonly associated with the idealistic lovers of the novel, the horse in Eliot's novel is
16


associated with a man of ill will. Thus, the horse in Victorian literature reflects the increasing hesitation
to trust wealthy suitors.
Another element of the plot that reveals this changing connotations of the horse occurs when the town gossip surrounding Maggie's assumed misconduct represents the intimate affair as a question of Maggie's "winning his affections" by suggesting, "it would have been more correct to say that she had been actuated by mere unwomanly boldness and unbridled passion" (Eliot 397). The fact that her supposed infidelity and impropriety are described as "unbridled passion" recalls the socially established connection between horses and passionate love central to Jane Austen's novels. However, while in Austen's novels the eventual outcome is romantic and economic fulfillment in marriage, Eliot's novel paints a much more skeptical conclusion.
In addition to its role as a symbol cautioning young women against imprudent romance, the
symbol of the horse in Victorian literature also functions in relation to changing social ideologies within
Victorian society, namely those surrounding gender and social status. George Eliot employs the image of
the horse to bridge the gap between the separate spheres of gendered Victorian. In one introductory
paragraph of the novel, the image of the horse is centered between discussion regarding the two
spheres. In this, the literary richness of this subtle reference to the horse becomes a mediator between
the gender-roles binary of Victorian culture. The author describes,
While Maggie's life-struggles had lain almost entirely within her own soul, .. Tom was engaged in a dustier, noisier warfare. ... So it had been since the days of Hecuba and Hector, Tamer of Horses; inside the gates, the women watching the world's combat from afar. outside the men in fierce struggle ... in the hurrying ardor of action. (Eliot 251)
Despite the fact that the roles and spheres of women and men remain separate and distinct within this
description, the image of the horse in The Mill on the Floss, and in Victorian literature in general,
functions to reconcile the disparity between the genders. The ability of the equine image to accomplish
such a task is built not only on the symbol's multifaceted application as an indicator of romance and
economics, but as a reflection of Victorian society's changing perception of upper class individuals.
17


Equally important to the use of equestrian symbolism to explore themes of love is its function as
an allusion to topics like wealth and social status within Victorian literature. In her article entitled "The Crossing o' Breeds" in The Mill on the Floss, Mary Jean Corbett examines Maggie Tulliver's life in terms of Darwinist ideologies of lineage and breeding. While Corbett focuses primarily on the references to human pedigree, her interpretation of the novel as a work primarily focused on lineage sheds light on the thematic quotation that "the grey colt may chance to kick like his black sire" (Eliot 154). According to Corbett's reading of the novel, Eliot's equestrian symbolism is particularly poignant because it serves to emphasize the importance of breeding and the reduction of women in the marriage market to proliferators of favorable genetic qualities. This reading of the image of the horse marks the enrichment of the horse's symbolic implications over the course of the Victorian era.
In one scene, Tom's masculinity and occupational integrity is expressed in the statement that he "was not going to be a snuffy schoolmaster; but a substantial man, like his father, who used to go hunting when he was younger, and rode a capital black mareas pretty a bit of horse-flesh as ever you saw" (Eliot 111). In this description, the "capital black mare" is portrayed in connection with masculine endeavors such as hunting. Notably, the "substantial man" is placed in a position of dominance over the characteristically female horse he "rides," and the mare is reduced to her carnal properties as she is described as a "pretty bit of horse-flesh." While the description serves to validate the protagonist Tulliver men, the cynical tone simultaneously functions to caution the reader against such behaviors as are exhibited by the leading males. Another instance of close association between characteristically masculine endeavors and horses is the scene in which Tom implores Philip to "see old Poulter do his sword-exercises in the carriage house" (Eliot 144). By this slight nod to horses, the reader can more easily recognize the connection between such masculine endeavors like sword fighting and the endeavor of passionate romance gained by impressing young females.
18


In addition to masculine skills, the symbol of the horse also appears as an indicator of economic
prosperity, or in close proximity with the discussion of finances (a characteristically masculine subject in the Victorian era). Because of the costs associated with horse ownership, horses were a major indicator of class in the Victorian era. Similar to the way car brands function as a status symbol in contemporary society, the number, age, breed, appearance, etc., of horses involved in transportation were an outward sign of the rider's social class. This is made particularly apparent in The Mill on the Floss when Maggie runs off to live with the gypsies (a low-class begging society) who, despite having only "a placid donkey," insist that Maggie "shall ride home, like a lady" (Eliot 91, 96). Alternately, well-bred horses served as a status symbol of high-class individuals. Tom reflects, "since his education at Mr. Stelling's had given him a more expensive view of life, he had often thought that when he got older he would make a figure in the world, with his horse and dogs and saddle, and other accoutrements of a fine young man" (Eliot 157). In Tom's "expensive view of life," horse ownership and "making a figure" are inextricably linked. Tom maintains this perspective throughout the novel. In a later part of the text, where Tom is seeking employment, he "suddenly felt at a disadvantage. ... It would have been much easier to make a figure with a spirited horse and a new saddle" (Eliot 192). In this subtle reassessment, author George Eliot recognizes that access to wealth is generationally inherited. She toys with the idea that only the rich own horses, but only horse owners can become rich in a "chicken or egg" style paradigm.
While horses function as an explicit representation of wealth, the reverse is also true. Tom's deliberation of Mr. Tulliver's sentence of "going to prison as a consequence of debt" directly coincides with the news of how his father "fell off his horse" (Eliot 158). Mr. Tulliver's financial "downfall" is tipped off by the equestrian symbolism of his drop in social rank. Indeed, equestrian symbolism continues to surround the progression of events involving Mr. Tulliver's economic plummet. The narrator retrospectively recalls Mr. Tulliver's fall, stating, "the mortgage on Mr. Tulliver's property, [had been] transferred to Wakem. In half an hour after this, Mr. Tulliver's own waggoner had found him lying
19


by the roadside insensible, with an open letter near him, and his grey horse snuffing uneasily about him"
(Eliot 164). While Mr. Tulliver is destitute and working to "get back on the horse," his landlord, his
advisory, Mr. Wakem, enjoys the privileges of a landlord status and the equine amenities that come with
the title. The novel recounts his visit to his Tulliver tenants stating, "Wakem came to ride round the land
and inquire into the business" (Eliot 227). The act of riding is directly connected with the theme of
"business" in this instance. Likewise, the equine symbol indicates Mr. Wakem's pride as he is literally
"on his high horse" while visiting the Tullivers' humble abode. In a later scene, Mr. Tulliver demonstrates
his desperate longing to reverse this economic stratification through a symbolic act of dragging Mr.
Wakem off his own horse. The novel describes the scene saying,
Mr. Tulliver spurring his horse and raising his whip, made a rush forward, and Wakem's horse, rearing and staggering backward, threw his rider from the saddle and sent him sideways on the ground. Before he could rise, Tulliver was off his horse too. [And, beating Wakem, said] in a thick, fierce voice, "tell 'em I've made things a bit more even i' the world." (Eliot 285-286)
In this excerpt, the position of the characters in relation to their horses directly parallels the financial
undertones at play within the scene. This close connection between the symbol of the horse and the
theme of economics demonstrates "the shifting and variant cultural meanings generated by the
iconography of the horse" (Dorre 4). Elise Michie furthers this deeper reading of the image of the horse
in Eliot's work by suggesting that, in the wake of Darwin's The Origin of Species, "those things previously
thought of as subordinatepeople, animals, emotionswere now understood to be unruly, eagerly
seeking to overturn the structures and disciplines that traditionally bound them. Eliot.. and Hardy
explore this perceptual change through the image of a man on horseback" (Michie 145). Not only does
the Wakem-Tulliver dichotomy demonstrate how the image of a man on a horse functions as an
economic indicator, it also reveals the newly emerging Darwinian perspectives of dominance and power
at play in Victorian society. Additionally, as a result of the Industrial Revolution, Victorian society
experienced a rise of social mobility. With such drastic alterations to social came the emergence of
middle-class ideologies, and a society increasingly skeptical of the "well born" upper class. This use of
20


the horse as a measure of society's increasing cynicism surrounding elite society is not only integral to
the development of George Eliot's novel, The Mill on the Floss; numerous authors from the Victorian era follow suit in adopting the symbol of the horse for a multivalent trope in their own novels.
The complex and far-reaching manipulation of the image of the horse is equally demonstrated in the texts of Thomas Hardy. Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles provides another quintessential example of a novel in which equestrian symbolism closes the gap between gendered subjects and advances the cause of equestrian signification in Victorian literature. The prominence of the symbol of the horse within the novel is demonstrated in the very name of the main character, "Durbeyfield," which functions as a play on the term "Derby," an annual race of three-year-old horses, founded in 1780 by the 12th Earl of Derby. In a similar onomastic vein, Hardy's naming of prominent locations suggests an interest in establishing an undercurrent of equine references. One of the primary settings in which events of the novel transpire is "The Chase," the abode of Alec d'Urberville. The naming of this residence functions as a double meaning alluding to the "chase" of Alec's seductive pursuit of Tess and subtly alluding to the passion laden symbol of the horse through the nearly homonymous suggestion toward a chaise pleasure carriage. However, the symbol of the horse in the novel extends far beyond its clever application within names. Over the course of the novel, the symbol of the horse serves as a direct indicator of the financial and romantic status of the characters.
For Hardy, the horse is a direct indicator of the passionate affection between two characters, and a symbol to caution against the particularly female gendered downfall that results from letting passion rule unchecked by reason and propriety. While the issue of financial situation is somewhat superimposed on this topic of equestrian allusion, the majority of allusions to horses focus on the theme of love. Since Tess of the D'Urbervilles is an example of literature from the later portion of the Victorian era, the novel's use of equestrian symbolism demonstrates how the romantic innuendoes of the horse symbol persevered in literature throughout the course of Victorian history.
21


It is characteristic of Hardy's works that "love is the urgent theme of his fiction/' and integral to
the development of this theme of love is the role of the horse within his novels (Miller xii). The image of
the horse is indispensable to reading between the lines of Tess' relationship with Alec d'Urberville. The
entire course of her relationship with Alec is marked by the image of Alec on horseback, and
inferentially therefore, the image of Alec desirously pining after Tess. Only ever encountering Tess once
before, "Mrs. d'Urberville's son had called on horseback, having been riding by chance in the direction
of Marlott.. 'He is very much interested in 'eetruth to tell.' He'll marry her most likely" (Hardy
33). Tess' mother, Joan, immediately associates the act of "calling on horseback" with the presumption
that Alec is passionately "interested" in her daughter. This discourse connecting the image of the horse
and the theme of passionate love is continued in the later scene of Tess' departure for the d'Urberville
estate for employment. The text recounts how Tess drew
near the spring-cart. But before she had quite reached it, another vehicle shot out from a clump of trees on the summit. The second vehicle was not a humble conveyance like the first, but a spick-and-span gig or dogcart, highly varnished and equipped. The driver was a young man of three- or four-and-twenty the handsome horsey young buck who had visited Joan a week or two before to get her answer about Tess. Mrs. Durbeyfield clapped her hands. .
Could she be deceived as to the meaning of this? (Hardy 37)
The implied "meaning of this" is that, by conveying Tess on his own horse rather than the spring cart,
Alec intends to outwardly display his intimate affection for Tess and gesture his desire to court her
rather than accept her merely as an employee. The description of Alec as a "handsome horsey young
buck" is also interesting in light of the double play involved in the term "horsey" and the insight this
term casts on the true character of Alec in reference to his desirous impulse.
Alec demonstrates his lack of concern for anything other than the fulfillment of this desire in his
treatment toward his horse when the novel states, "he mounted beside her, and immediately whipped
on the horse" (Hardy 38). For Alec, Tess too is nothing more than a "vehicle" for his own gratification.
The couple's ride to the d'Urberville estate is no less passionately charged.
22


Having mounted beside her, Alec d'Urberville drove rapidly along the crest of the hill. ... 'I always go down at full gallop. There's nothing like it for raising your spirits'. Down, down they sped, wheels humming like a top, the dogcart rocking right and left.. the figure of the horse rising and falling in undulations before them. (Hardy 39)
This passage, laden with double entendre reveals the Victorian association between horses and sexuality
and demonstrates Alec's scandalous forwardness toward Tess. The image of Alec in the "spirit raising"
act of "rocking right and left" and "rising and falling in undulations" after "having mounted" is an
insightful indicator of the nature of Alec's feelings toward Tess. Alec's impropriety in driving rapidly
reflects the notion that men on horseback "display a potential to dominate in their relation to sexually
magnetic women and their ability to ride and control high-spirited horses" (Michie 145). The reader
recognizes in Alec's desire to drive his mare at breakneck speed his parallel desire to use Tess for his
pleasure. In establishing a parallel between Tess and the mare, this scene similarly provides a fitting
preview for Tess' ultimate fate in the upcoming chapter subtitled "The Seduction or Rape."
The pinnacle of equestrian symbolism as a warning against unchecked passion occurs in the
section of Hardy's novel immediately prior to the revelation that Tess is a "maiden no more." While the
encounter that renders her so is not explicitly mentioned, the audience may gather the nature of such
events through Hardy's application of the equine symbol, standard in Victorian literature of connoting
such behavior. As a catalyst to these events, Tess (whose rationality is clouded by the anxiety of having
to hastily depart from the scene of a bar fight) yields to the offer of riding horseback with Alec as an
escape. The novel relates, "he had ridden creepingly forward. she abandoned herself to impulse,
climbed the gate, put her toe upon his instep, and scrambled into the saddle behind him. The twain
cantered along [Tess] clung to him still panting" (Hardy 53). Tess has "abandoned herself to impulse"
and this minor slip will lead to her ultimate downfall and the compounding misfortunes that come as a
consequence.
23


The romantic tale of knight in shining armor is rewritten into tragedy with Tess when Alec
proceeds to seduce (and arguably rape) the princess he has rescued from the dragon. In the scene subsequent to the rescue,
D'Urberville stopped the horse, withdrew his feet from the stirrups, turned sideways on the saddle, and enclosed her waist with his arms to support her. "Mayn't I treat you as a lover? .
. by the bye, Tess; your father has a new cob today. don't you love me ever so little now?" (Hardy 54-55)
The twofold appearance of equine imagery, in both the duo's horseback escape and Alec's mention of the cob demonstrate how the symbol of the horse is intimately connected with the act of "treating [one] as a lover." It is significant that Alec uses the purchase of a horse (to replace Prince) as a means of coercing Tess into passionate folly.
Shortly after the impulsive escape on horseback, Tess realizes her recklessness and tries to
regain herself by relinquishing Alec and dismounting from the horse. Yet, the chink in the armor has
sealed Tess' doom. As she walks beside the mounted Alec, he taunts, "if you insist upon walking you
may; or you may rideat your pleasure" (Hardy 55). The term "pleasure" (connoting sexual pleasure) is
placed in connection with riding and in opposition to walking. This syntactical move reflects the
association between walking and prudent temperance, and horseback riding and passion-driven
licentiousness. The sexual innuendo behind the symbol of the horse and the image of Tess and Alec's
"ride" is made incontestable by the title of the section that follows: "Phase the Second: Maiden No
More." The activity that follows is represented more in what is left unsaid than what is said within the
novel. "As Penny Boumelha has perceptively remarked, Tess's sexuality is ultimately 'unknowable' and
'unrepresentable' by the narrator" (Bloom, Thomas Hardy 108). The unspeakable act is literarily reduced
to the symbol of horseback riding. The absence of any explicit reference to the implied events functions
within the text to reveal Alec's own objectification of Tess.
The description of the rape itself enacts the complex exchange of disembodiment it sets out to signify. ... By effacing a description of real physical violence and substituting for it a
24


metaphorical speculation the narrator repeats Alec's turning her body into a sign that must bear another's inscription. (Bronfen 77)
Alec bestializes Tess, disregarding her individual human dignity and reducing her to an object of his desire. He views her as an animal to be domesticated and subjected to his passionate desires rather than a human equal to be shown respect. Hardy's rhetoric enacts this by metaphorically replacing the description of rape with vague allusion through equestrian symbolism. Just as Alec displays dominance over his horse to yield the pleasure of riding, so too does he execute dominance over the animalized Tess to yield the pleasure of seduction.
After the connection between the image of the horse and the ill consequences of unhindered passion are revealed through the unspeakable events preceding the chapter entitled "Maiden No More/' the audience learns to read the symbol of the horse as a foreboding indicator of a character's moral duplicity. Alec's actions become definitively unforgivable when, even after his rape of Tess, he continues to pursue a love affair with her. As she runs away to return home, "man and horse stopped beside her" and Alec ardently declares, "I have been driving like the deuce to overtake you!Just look at the mare!" (Hardy 59). This display demonstrates Alec's selfish and narrow concern for the state of his mare (and symbolically the state of his passionate love affair) above the wellbeing of Tess.
Not only is the horse an indicator of Alec's inordinate desires, it also reflects the mounting middle-class disapproval of a decadent nobility. While Frank Churchill's passionate whim of getting a haircut was indecorous, and while Stephen Guest's desire to elope with Maggie was scandalous, these offenses were minor in comparison to the deplorable acts of Alec D'Urberville. As a synecdoche for the aristocracy at large, Alec's crime, in association with the image of the horse, demonstrates the escalating skepticism of the gentry within Victorian society for the habits of conspicuous consumption and unmerited ascendancy. This disordered privileging of lechery, signified by the image of the horse, is set in contradistinction to later events of the novel.
25


In accordance with this close association between the symbol of the horse and the unchecked
passion that it signifies, it is equally important to notice the diminished mention of horses in reference to the upright courtship of Angel Clare. The near absence of horses in association with Angel demonstrates his prudence in romantic relationships. Additionally, through his condescension of renouncing his inherited wealth in order to become a dairy farmer, Angel functions as an opposite to the aristocratic Alec. Similarly, the absence of equestrian associations to Angel denotes his fulfillment of the newly emerging middle-class ideals of Victorian society. The few occurrences of equine symbolism in association with this character do however follow suit in connoting the couple's escalating passion and desire for each other and Angel's occasional reversion to aristocratic flaws.
The first major allusion to horses occurs subtly in the scene where the butter will not come, despite constant churning. In this scene, it is mentioned that "even the melancholic horse himself seemed to look in at the window in inquiring despair," until someone offers the idea, "perhaps somebody in the house is in love I've heard tell in my younger days that that will cause it" (Hardy 104). In this instance, the mention of the horse occurs in connection with the nod toward Tess' liking for Angel suggested by "somebody in the house [being] in love." The next mention of a horse in the context of Tess and Angel's relationship occurs in connection to Angel's vocalization of his desire to marry Tess.
Upon returning to the dairy after a visit home to discuss with his parents his intentions to marry Tess, Angel Clare "unbridled and fed his horse, and as he re-entered the house .. Clare heard the creaking of the floor-boards above, and then the touch of a descending foot on the stairs. It was Tess', who in another moment came down before his eyes" (Hardy 132). Angel's action of "unbridling and feeding his horse," and in turn, unbridling and fueling his passionate love for Tess, is justified by his intended engagement to Tess. In the scene immediately following Angel's dismount from his horse, the protagonist begins a conversation with Tess stating, "I shall soon want to marry. .. Will you be that woman Tessy?" (Hardy 134). Despite her initial reserve, Angel continues to pursue Tess and endeavors
26


to secure a private setting to represent the question when the owner of the dairy farm asks for someone
to deliver the produce, questioning,
Who'll drive it across? Mr. Clare volunteered to do so asking Tess to accompany him. She mounted beside her lover with a mute obedience characteristic of impassioned natures at times. "Now then, Mistress Teresa d'Urberville, I have you. Take my name, and so you will escape yours! The secret is out, so why should you any longer refuse me? you will be mine for ever and ever." He clasped her close and kissed her. (Hardy 144, 146, and 149)
In this unusual scene in which Angel and Tess engage in equine transportation, the passage depicts the
mounting passion between the nearly engaged couple. The act of Tess mounting the carriage is coupled
with her experience of "impassioned natures." Additionally, the couple's equine travel correlates with
Angel's profession of love and insistence upon marriage. This correlation between Angel's passionate
desire to marry Tess and the image of the horse continues later in the text on the day of the couple's
wedding. The author notes of the couple's journey to their marriage ceremony: "the church was a long
way off, and they were obliged to drive, particularly as it was winter. A close carriage was ordered from
a roadside post-chaise travelling" (Hardy 166). Thus, the two instances in which Tess and Angel travel by
carriage correlate directly with the development of plot surrounding love and matrimony.
While the horse functions as an indicator of Angel's passionate love in his desire to marry Tess, it
functions similarly in the events following Angel's falling out of love with Tess after her confession of
impurity. The scene that follows Tess' confession and the couple's nuptial dispute describes how "the
cow and horse tracks in the road were full of water, the rain having been enough to charge them, but
not enough to wash them away" (Hardy 181). The horse tracks (signaling that the equine symbol of
romance had been there before, and had departed) remain as a remnant of the couple's passionate love
that has been diminished "but not washed away" in the torrent of her confession.
After the passion of their love has diminished, there is no mention of horses directly, but only
vague references to indicate their equestrian transportation with phrases like, "he ordered a vehicle,"
"the man drove them off," "the fly" (Hardy 197-199). Similarly, when the couple returns to the dairy, it is
27


even noted that "they left the carriage .. and descended the track on foot" (Hardy 197). Just as their
love has descended from passionate vigor to subdued regret, so too does the couple descend from assumedly horse drawn carriage to the passionless mode of pedestrian transportation. Direct reference to the image of the horse does not return in the novel until the scene of Angel's capricious behavior toward Izz Huett.
In one brief instance, Angel Clare does abandon his sense of propriety and act out of unchecked
passion, asking Izz Huett if she will accompany him to Brazil and partake in a love affair with him. This
scene occurs when Angel offers Izz a ride home on his horse-drawn gig. Furthermore, the description of
this event is riddled with direct references to the horse establishing a connection between the symbol of
the horse and lubricious behaviors. The novel describes,
On Clare's return to his horse and gig Izz jumped up beside him. [addressing Izz, Clare asked,] "suppose I had asked you to marry me?" "If you had, I should have said yes; and you would have married a woman who loved 'ee" Clare slowed the horse. ... "I am going to Brazil alone, Izz will you go with me instead of her? you know what it means, Izz. ... it will be wrongdoing in the eyes of civilizationwestern civilization that is to say." (Hardy 211)
Clare's self-recognition of his wantonness appears in conjunction with significant discourse surrounding
his horse to continue the ongoing association made between the image of the horse theme of
Soon after, Clare repents of his capricious behavior and implores, "forget our idle talk Izz," he said
turning the horse's head suddenly, "I don't know what I've been saying! I will now drive you back"
(Hardy 212). In this instance, the directionality of the horse serves as a parallel to the conversion of
Clare's own disposition toward the fervent situation. The association between the image of the horse
and the two leading male suitors of the novel is integral to the development of the plot and the
advancement of more subtle themes within the text. As Penny Boumelha expertly summarizes,
It is not only Alec who is associated with the gigs and traps that, on occasion, literally run away with Tess; it is during a journey in a wagon driven by Angel that he finally secures Tess' acceptance of his proposal. Equally, the two ride to their wedding in a sinister, funeral carriage, and when Angel makes his proposition to Izz, she is riding in his gig. It is noticeable, too, that during their wagon-ride, Angel feeds Tess with berries that he has pulled from the trees with a whip, recalling the scene at The Slopes when Alec feeds her with strawberries." (131-132)
28


In each of these instances, the image of the horse is intimately associated with themes of love. This application of the horse thus advances the early 19th century application of equestrian symbolism to themes of romance. Likewise, various other instances throughout the novel affirm the association between the image of the horse and the topic of romance.
One scene discloses the cultural notion of the horse's romantic signification through Tess' mother's assumptions surrounding horse tracks in the front yard. In the wake of Alec's departure, after attempting to woo Tess into marrying him, Tess' mother notes, '"I see the tracks of a horse outside the window,' said Joan. 'Hev somebody called?' 'No,' said Tess. The children by the fire looked gravely at her, and one murmured, 'Why, Tessthe gentleman a-horseback!' .. 'Who was the gentleman?' asked her mother. 'Your husband?"' (Hardy 282). The horse tracks are immediately assumed to be those of a lover, and the close association between the theme of marriage and the image of the horse's remnant traces is reaffirms the major thematic relevance of horses within the novel and within Victorian society at large.
This theme appears again in a later episode of Tess' life. When Tess goes to work in Trantridge, she hears "the muffle tread of a horse" which her employer is riding, and in his first address to Tess, he hints, "you thought I was in love with 'ee, I suppose?" (Hardy 228).This sentiment of love in connection to the image of the horse applies also to the character of Alec when he is reintroduced into the plot with his sudden appearance in the remote farm town. Immediately prior to the scene in which Alec d'Urberville asks Tess, "put it in my power to make the only amends I can make for the trick I played on youthat is, will you be my wife, and go with me?," Hardy sets the scene of the proposal by mentioning "two horses and a man, the plow going between them, turning up the cleared ground for a spring sowing" (Hardy 247, 246). While this association may seem subtle, in the near aftermath of this scene, Tess feels "the nose of Groby's horse almost [touch] her shoulders. [while] she did for one moment picture what might have been the result if she had been free to accept the offer just made her of being
29


the monied Alec's wife" (Hardy 250). The grafting of Tess' desire to be "the monied Alec's wife" onto the
image of the horse reaffirms the thematic association to both romance and class the symbol of the
horse connotes within Victorian literature. While the subtle mention of the horse in this scene may
initially appear extraneous, a closer evaluation of the thematic intricacies at work within the novel
reveals the connection between the image of the horse and themes of both love and social class.
While the role of equine imagery in indicating themes of love and romance in Tess of the
D'Urbervilles continues the tradition of earlier 19th century English fiction, Hardy contributes to the
development of equestrian symbolism beyond this foundation by applying the image of the horse as a
symbol of downfall and an image of the decline of English nobility. For Hardy, the image of the horse is
central to the novel as a metaphor for Tess herself and a foreshadowing of her tragic downfall. One of
the early scenes of Tess of the D'Urbervilles features the death of the Durbeyfield's family horse, Prince.
The novel describes the event of Prince's death stating,
something terrible had happened. The harness was entangled with an object which blocked the way. The groan had proceeded from her father's poor horse Prince. The morning mail-cart.
. had driven into her slow and unlighted equipage. The pointed shaft of the cart had entered the breast of the unhappy Prince like a sword; and from the wound his life's blood was spouting in a stream, and falling with a hiss into the road. ... he was already dead. (Hardy 22)
This graphically vivid account of the horse's death suggests the weight of the scene within the novel and
the importance of the equine symbol to the plot's development. Literary critic Harold Bloom notes of
this moment in the text, "the Durbeyfield horse, Prince, has accidentally, and as it will turn out
prophetically, been killed by the mail cart due to the negligence of Tess" (Bloom, Thomas Hardy 97). The
death of Prince is not only a foreshadowing of the ultimate downfall of Tess, but also the cause of her
life of misery. Tess reflects, "as I killed the horse ... I suppose I ought to do something" (Hardy 25, 34).
Thus, the death of the horse becomes the motivating factor of Tess' travels to The Chase where she is
put in harm's way and eventually loses her maidenly virtue. In this way, "the accidental killing of the
30


family horse throws [Tess] into the path of the upstart Alec D'Urberville, her rape, her disastrous confession to Angel Clare, and her final capture at Stonehenge" (James 183).
Not only is Prince a foreshadowing of Tess' own tragic end, the horse also points to the ultimate cause of her struggles: a threat to Victorian England at large, namely the decline of atrophy of English nobility. Even Prince's name functions as an indicator of this corruption of nobility and the demise of integrity in social class. Just as Victorian England is subject to the changing social dynamics of its time, so too must Tess face the consequences of the death of her family's horse. The Durbeyfields' own horse is described in terms of economics when, after his death, "Prince was tumbled in .. the grave. The breadwinner had been taken away from them; what would they do?" (Hardy 25). The description of Prince as "the breadwinner" shows the inextricable bond between the image of the horse and themes of economic advantage or disadvantage. Not only is this a significant blow to her family's livelihood, who subsequently expects from Tess the same economic production they received from Prince, but the death of the carthorse has profound impacts for Tess on an individual level.
Just as Tess in her negligence fails to guard the life of her family's horse, so too does she fail to guard the purity of her unspoiled character. The image of the horse is again employed as a means of foreshadowing unfortunate events through the legend of the d'Urberville Coach. This legend is revealed in a scene where Alec rides "his horse so close to the cottage-front that his hoofs were almost upon the narrow border for plants growing under the wall" (Hardy 2979). When Tess fails to avoid the encounter he asks her, "'Didn't you see me?' asked d'Urberville. 'I was not attending,' she said. 'I fancied it was a carriage and horses'. 'Ahyou heard the d'Urberville Coach, perhaps. You know the legend, I suppose? ... this sound of a non-existent coach can only be heard by one of the d'Urberville blood, and it is held to be of ill-omen to the one who hears it" (Hardy 279). The reappearance of horse references throughout this passage demonstrates Hardy's efforts to draw his audience's attention to the symbol of the horse of.. .?. Through this explication of the legend of the d'Urberville Coach, Hardy
31


simultaneously indicates to his reader the underlying significance of horses as symbols within literature more broadly. In connection to the larger literary canon, however, Hardy's specific engagement of the equine symbol contributes to an enhancement of the role of horses within novels. By applying the image of the horse to foreshadow Tess' ultimate woe, Hardy renders the symbol of the horse a more multifaceted allusion than the simple indicator of romantic themes the horse suggested in 18th century novels.
Like in The Mill on the Floss, the symbol of the horse as a standard indicator of romantic undertones and forewarning is transformed into a far-reaching image concerning themes of class and economics in Tess of the D'Urbervilles. From the start of the novel, the symbol of the horse serves as an indicator of economic status and class. The opening scene unfolds as "presently [John Durbeyfield] was met by an elderly parson astride on a grey mare, who, as he rode, hummed a wandering tune. .
'Don't you really know, Durbeyfield, that you are the lineal representative of the ancient and knightly family of the d'Urbervilles" (Hardy 1). This revelation initiates a dramatic change in Mr. Durbeyfield, and the subsequent scene depicts the astonished reaction of an onlooker commenting, "why, Tess Durbeyfield, if there isn't thy father riding home in a carriage!" (Hardy 7). In the initial scene, John Durbeyfield is staged afoot to indicate his poverty while the parson is placed on horseback as he heralds the knightly lineage of the unsuspecting man. Likewise, John Durbeyfield's horse and carriage in the next scene are meant as an immediate indicator of his change in status. However, Hardy utilizes the image of the carriage as a satirical criticism against aristocracy. While John Durbeyfield may have the carriage to indicate his upper class kinship, he does nothing to live up to his name or his status. In this, Mr. Durbeyfield represents the shallowness behind the aristocratic class.
The symbol of the coach continues to symbolically indicate class as in a later scene in the novel, Joan Durbeyfield proclaims, "'tis well to be kin to a coach, even if you don't ride in 'en" (Hardy 17). This synecdoche suggests how the ability to own horses and coaches served as a direct indicator of a family's
32


wealth. Additionally, Joan expresses that it is "well to be kin to a coach" in order to express the advantage of having a wealthy relative with passionate affection and intention to marry. Her intention in this mention of kinship and coaches is to insinuate to Tess "that our great relation will help 'ee to marry a gentlemen.. [and] be made rich by marrying" (Hardy 20-21). Through this comment, the association between horses and economic status, common to the Victorian culture, is transformed into a satirical undermining of "marrying up". While it was common for horses bear witness to class in the Victorian society, the author applies the image of the horse in more creative ways than a mere one-for-one status symbol in order to instigate deeper consideration of the socioeconomic changes at work within Victorian society.
Similarly, Hardy demonstrates the complex interconnectivity between romance and finance when, upon returning home after the failure of her second relationship, it is brought to Tess' attention that her father has "been obliged to sell his second horse" (202). With Hardy, the horse is no longer just an indicator of passionate love and disposable wealth; rather, it becomes an indicator of dissipation and corrupt wealth. The Durbeyfield family's limited capacity for horse ownership not only reflects the incongruence between their aristocratic title and their incapacity for upholding noble standards, but also Victorian society's rising distrust in the marriage market as a system of economic prosperity.
With the rise of social mobility through work, women were less dependent upon "marrying up" for economic security and gained access to more independent means of accrual. By noting the emptiness behind the Durbeyfields' wealth, and by developing the villainous character of the aristocratic suitor, Alec, the author reflects how the image of the horse has been socially constructed to denote the corruption of the landed gentry and the untrustworthiness of marriage as a means of economic advancement in preference of independent work. Hardy's depiction of the Durbeyfields' horse thus transforms the commonplace symbol of the horse from a mere indicator of passionate love to a complex
33


and multifaceted referent that provides insight into the various anxieties of the changing Victorian society.
To augment the notion that Tess is victim to the unfortunate demise of aristocratic decline in
English society, Hardy's plot reflects a certain cat-and-mouse dynamic and emphasizes "the chase"
involved in relational pursuit. John Halloway reads into this underlying connection at play within Tess of
the D'Urbervilles by revealing how the novel can
be grasped through a single metaphor. It is not the taming of an animal. Rather... it is the hunting of one. Even the very start of her relationship with Alec is relevant: "the handsome, horsey young buck" drove up ... in his gig to fetch her. At the end, it is especially clear. When the hunt is over, Tess is captured on the sacrificial stone at Stonehenge. (277)
This analysis of the novel reveals how the socially constructed symbol of horse plays off the already
multidimensional roles of the horse. The horse, central to the sport hunting, plays a crucial role in
building the analogy between a hunter in pursuit of his prey and the aristocratic lover seeking his
beloved. This connection between horse and sport is continued throughout literary progression by later
authors of the Victorian era. This thematic connection provides an example of the broader application of
equestrian symbolism in conversations of themes like sport and gambling.
The broader applications of the horse in both Tess of the D'Urbervilles and The Mill on the Floss
provide early examples of how writers within the Victorian era played with and built upon the basic
connection between the image of the horse and the theme of romance established within the literature
of turn-of-the-19th century society. A reevaluation of the economic implications of love was not the only
transformation to occur to the symbol of the horse in Victorian literature however. Later authors within
Victorian literature further adapt this symbol for discussion on even more topics.
Taking a Gambol: Horses and Sport
Adding to the alteration of the symbol of the horse, Victorian authors like George Moore and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle additionally contributed to the reworking of equestrian symbolism. By applying the image of the horse in reference to not only themes of romantic propriety or economic prosperity, but
34


also to themes of sport and leisure through the discussion of gambling and horseracing, later Victorian authors further expanded the symbolic implications of the horse to broader subjects.
Because of the prominence of horseracing within Victorian society, the theme makes its way into more popular writings, including the great detective fiction of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The prolific writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was most famous for his Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, featuring the eponymous sleuth of murder mysteries. Doyle demonstrates the significance of the horse as a symbol in Victorian society by devoting an entire short story to the investigation of the disappearance of a horse race favorite and the murder of its trainer in the account that derives its name from the feature equine, Silver Blaze. The narrator, Watson, prefaces the short story with the summative statement, "there was but one problem before the public which could challenge his powers of analysis, and that was the singular disappearance of the favorite for the Wessex Cup and the tragic murder of its trainer" (Doyle 255). Yet, the image of the horse is elemental to the story beyond the mere mention of the missing steed. In Silver Blaze, the various allusions to horses serve as subtle clues to help the attentive reader reach the mystery's solution while simultaneously functioning as a multifaceted symbol of masculine pastimes, revealing Victorian society's anxiety about the contention between tradition and modernity demonstrated in the contrast between horse and train, and testing the limits of standard character development in literature. Doyle's use of equestrian allusion builds on the common knowledge of horses, characteristic of the Victorian era, to explore the multitudinous applications of the commonplace animal in a literary setting.
The significance of Doyle's story as a contribution to the scholarly understanding of a more complex understanding of the horse in literature is suggested in the snide remark from Watson, "I could not believe it possible that the most remarkable horse in England could long remain concealed, especially in so sparsely inhabited a place" (256). The irony of having to "hide a horse" points to the multivalent connotations hidden behind the literary image of the horse. The centrality of the symbol to
35


the story is demonstrated in the fact that the mystery revolves around the trainer's "anxiety about the
horses" (Doyle 259). This "anxiety about horses/' central to numerous Victorian texts parallels the sentiments about horses and their role in a volatile society of industry prevalent in the surrounding culture at that time. Thus, Doyle's complex consideration for the equine symbol in a variety of situations represents a variety of social apprehensions of the time. Doyle stages his equestrian tale within the context of the rise of locomotive transportation. The author's use of equestrian symbolism serves to demonstrate how, with the age of the iron horse comes newly emerging anxieties surrounding social accessibility and gender dynamics, and an increasing distain for aristocracy.
Doyle demonstrates the centrality of the horse image to his short story through literary devices and allusion to widespread knowledge of horses, characteristic of his Victorian reader. In various instances, the author subtly conveys the importance of the equine to his story through the use of horse-related pun. In one example, upon hearing the news that "'a new element has been introduced into the case which may account for his leading the horse from the stable.' Holmes pricked up his ears" (Doyle 263). Doyle's use of this idiom humorously depicts Holmes with horse-like characteristics. As a precursor to the revelation of the mystery's solution, the colonel (and owner of Silver Blaze) admits, "I can make neither head nor tail of it" (Doyle 273). This punny confession highlights the importance of the horse to the story overall and foreshadows the mystery's explanation. In addition to pun, Doyle also relies on his audience's knowledge of horses to plant subtle clues to the solution throughout the story. As a hint to Watson about Silver Blaze's unknown location, Sherlock reflects, "the horse is a very gregarious creature. If left to himself, his instincts would have been either to return to King's Pyland, or go over to Capleton" (Doyle 267). The usefulness of this information somewhat depends upon the audience's familiarity with horses and their natural tendencies. In another instance, the text reveals that "'Silver Blaze ... is from the Isonomy stock'" (Doyle 257). The footnote to this section discloses that, "Isonomy was a real, fabulously successful racehorse in the 1870s who sired other successful racehorses," yet,
36


Doyle (publishing without such footnotes) demonstrates the importance of the horse in Victorian society in assuming his reader would be familiar with Isonomy (491). Not only does Doyle's mention of this fact suggest the continued familiarity with horses, characteristic of the Victorian era; reversely, he uses this information to tip off his equestrian-aware Victorian reader to the importance and multivalence of the horse in his text and in Victorian literature in general.
In its multifaceted application of the symbol of the horse, Silver Blaze does not overlook the more commonplace allusion to romance. By the end of the mystery, the audience learns that illicit romance was a contributing factor behind the unfortunate events. Regarding the deceased "victim" of the case, Sherlock reveals to his conspirators, "I at once concluded that Straker was leading a double life, and keeping a second establishment. The nature of the bill showed that there was a lady in the case, and one who had expensive tastes" (Doyle 276). The connection between the unfortunate consequence of Straker's death and his impropriety in marital affair, are joined with the centrality of the horse image throughout the short story to posit the horse as a symbol of warning against licentiousness and extramarital dissipation. This detail of Straker's infidelity as a cause of his death is coupled with the fact that one of the fundamental clues in unraveling the mystery lies in the fact that Silver Blaze's "bridle is missing" (Doyle 262). This simple notion of a missing bridle, however, recalls the consideration of "unbridled passion" discussed in reference to Jane Austen. Building on this literary tradition of equestrian symbolism, Doyle takes the image of the horse to a new level of connotation.
Following the trend of preceding novels, Silver Blaze challenges the notion that equestrian symbolism in literature be limited strictly to feminine symbolism in precautionary tales concerning relationships of love. Silver Blaze demonstrates the "the rich resonance of the horse as a Victorian trope and the contradictory and taboo values that often arise from its representation" through its investigation of associations with the horse in the venue of horseracing and gambling (Dorre 4). The themes of wealth and class are brought into play in the murder mystery through the explicatory
37


statement of Silver Blaze that "enormous sums of money have been laid upon him [and] his fortunate
owner" (Doyle 257). With this emphasis on economic value being the driving force to motivate the solving of the case, the symbol of the horse functions as a commentary on both aristocratic horse owners and the gamblers who bet on them.
The multifaceted symbolism of the horse is further developed within the text through the tension between train and horse subtly planted throughout the composition. The dichotomy between horse and train is central to one particular instance of conversation between Watson and Sherlock: "'And you will devote yourself to [solving the mystery of the Silver Blaze racehorse]?' 'On the contrary, we both go back to London by the night train'" (Doyle 271). This question and answer set up a clear distinction between horse and train. Upon first glance, it appears as though Sherlock (and therefore the author associated with this relatable and respectable character) casts his allegiances in favor of the locomotive, but the text later reveals his seeming abandonment of the mystery of the racehorse is because he has already solved the case. To boot, "it was while [Sherlock] was in the carriage [that] it occurred to [him], .. how [he] could possibly have overlooked so obvious a clue," suggesting that the horse and carriage were greater contributors than the train in aiding Sherlock's rational faculties (Doyle 275). This tension between the train and the horse not only represents Sherlock's devotion to the case, but also reflects the Victorian anxieties surrounding modernization and urbanization as a result of the Industrial Revolution.
The spread of locomotive transportation corresponded with significant change in social ideologies within Victorian England. As a highly accessible means of conveyance, providing open access to a vast number of individuals representing a variety of economic classes, the iron horse represented newly emerging ideals of egalitarianism and the promotion of middle class ideologies in place of aristocratic stratification.
38


The surprising solution to the mystery is perhaps the greatest evidence to Doyle's investment in
featuring and transforming the horse as a central image in literature. After a labyrinth of clues and conjectures, it is revealed that '"the real murderer is standing immediately behind you!' 'The horse!' 'Yes, the horse'" (Doyle 274). As the central solution to the mystery, and the eponymous figure of the short story, the horse becomes the major character of the composition. Additionally, by ascribing the human-like title of "murderer" and human-like characteristics of guilt or innocence to the horse, the horse becomes more than a symbol in the short story; he becomes a character on almost equal footing with human characters.
However, this twist in the plot additionally reflects Victorian society's increasing preference for democratization over aristocratic stratification. Straker, as an image of the landed gentry, follows the pattern of Victorian literature in being a philanderer and debaucher. Yet, his ultimate death reflects the decline of nobility in Victorian England. This wane of aristocratic nobility is cleverly reflected in the ironic event of Straker being killed by his own horse. The image of aristocratic decadence is the agent of the class's ultimate collapse within Victorian society.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's short story provides insight into the significance of equestrian symbolism within the canon of Victorian literature. Within the brief text, the horse functions not only as an integral character, but also as a complex indicator of Victorian ideologies surrounding passionate romance, social class, and the rise of locomotive transportation. Additionally, the text proves uniquely trendsetting in making horseracing central to the plot and setting in a work of literature. The novel Esther Waters by George Moore picks up where Silver Blaze leaves off in advancing the cause of literary equestrian symbolism.
As a novel about the English horseracing scene, the image of the horse is indispensible to the plot of Esther Waters. Stephen Regan, in his introduction to the novel notes that, "the huge success of the novel undoubtedly owed much to his inspired choice of a racing stable as an appropriate setting"
39


(Moore x). The centrality of the image of the horse plays out even in the finite details interwoven in the text. Even the name of the main character's hometown contributes to the development of equine themes since "Esther Waters came from Barnstaple" (Moore 21). The term "staple" in the town's name signifies "a center for trade" emphasizing the centrality of the barn and its inhabitants to the town in specific, but also the novel overall. Additionally, the term is a subtle variation of "stable," reiterating the importance of the housing structure. In her origin, therefore, Esther is paralleled with the horses that dwell in barn-stables. This parallel plays out over the course of the novel's plot in Esther's own situation toward themes of romance, and the economic and moral implications of horseracing and betting.
The application of equestrian symbolism within the novel, Esther Waters, continues to build on the foundation set by earlier 19th century novels conflating the image of the horse and themes of imprudent romance. The association between horses and love is established throughout the text through various allusions to general instances of love in association with the image of the horse. Early in the text, as a way of introducing Esther to her type of work and peer group, Sarah comments of a previous employee, "Jim could never talk about anything but the 'osses. ... I'd have married Jim, I know I should, if he hadn't been sent away" (Moore 13). From this statement, Sarah's desire to marry Jim is directly associated with his loquaciousness regarding horses, demonstrating the text's use of the horse as a symbolic indicator of profligacy and immorality. Additionally, the novel establishes an association between the image of the horse and the theme of romance through the example of "pretty Fanny Elliot had won the squire's heart as he rode across the down. Do you not see the shy figure of the Puritan maiden tripping through the gorse, hastening the hoofs of the squire's cob?" (Moore 26). In this description, the femme fatale not only appears in association with the horse, but also is the very cause of the horse, exercising agency over the animal by hastening its hooves. Fler influence and association with the horse, the reader is told, is primarily her passionate love in "winning the squire's heart." The novel thus instills the image of the horse with themes of romance and love. Likewise, the text explores
40


the socially expected correlation involving the man who "keeps a trap; his wife as pretty a woman as you
could wish to lay eyes on" (Moore 245). The text reveals that having a pretty wife comes in natural succession to keeping a trap and horses. While the text reveals the correlation between horses and the theme of love through general examples like these, it also does so in direct relation to the eponymous character, Esther.
The plot development surrounding Esther Waters is riddled with horse references, not only because of the prominence of the animal within the story's setting, but also as a means of revealing her aptitude for attracting dissolute lovers. As a young, innocent, unassuming country girl entering her position as a servant, Esther is unaware of the dissipation associated with horses and the illicit actions they symbolize. Esther demonstrates her innocence in these matters by confusing the racehorses on her master's property for carriage horses. Her peers respond in astonishment: "carriage horses, you ninny! .
. Can't you see that they are race-horses?" (Moore 12). This comment made by one of Esther's fellow maidservants functions to connect Esther Waters to the canonical works of Jane Austen through the equestrian symbolism in which carriages connote rightly ordered love and horseback riding (elevated in this case to horseracing) suggests a romance characterized by imprudent passion unchecked by reason. Yet, Esther is soon stripped of her unassuming innocence and through the influence of her equine surroundings, she begins to feel the fleeting whims of passion driven love. The text reveals of Esther, "her twentieth year thrilled within her. .. Then the race-horses were always going to or coming from the downs. Esther often longed for a romp with these boys; she was now a prime favorite with them . Sometimes her wayward temper would get the better of her" (Moore 30-31). The increased activity of the racehorses in this scene parallels the swell of passionate sentiment between the adolescent jockey boys and the blooming Esther. The heroine's increasing knowledge of horses correlates with her increasing desire, and she ultimately falls to the encroaching sexual temptations suggested in the prevalence of horses in her immediate surroundings. Esther falls in love with William
41


Latch, a prospective stable boy obsessed with gambling whose mother works with Esther. One night after the servant's ball in celebration of their master's racehorse winning the race, William seduces and impregnates Esther. Despite her passionate affection for William, Esther's shame and feelings of betrayal, along with the mistress' disapproval of her unladylike conduct, induce Esther to leave her position at the estate and return to her small home to seek employment.
Throughout the middle section of the novel, as Esther migrates from one low-paying position to another after leaving the horse breeding estate, there is little mention of horses at all; this absence of equestrian imagery parallels the period in her life when Esther "hadn't a young man, and didn't want one. She declined an offer of marriage, and was rarely persuaded into a promise to walk out with any of her admirers" (155). Even when Esther takes a liking to Fred, a pious churchgoer, the horse remains relatively absent from the text. As their love escalates, some minor references to horses dapple the text; yet, the two continue to rely primarily on pedestrian rather than equestrian forms of transportation. The absence of equine symbolism from this section of the novel reflects the absence of inordinate desires in Esther's romantic relationship with Fred.
By contrast, the frequency and explicitness of the equine symbol returns when William reenters the plot. The novel discloses his reintroduction noting, "Esther. watched a poor horse striving to pull a four wheeler through the loose heavy gravel that had just been laid down. So absorbed was she in her pity for the poor animal that she did not see the gaunt, broad-shouldered man coming towards her. .. William said, 'Just fancy meeting you, and in this way!"' (Moore 164-165). The horse's struggles, upon which Esther is focused, indicate the resurfacing of Esther's own struggles with her passionate affection for William. As the couple's passion-driven romance resurfaces in the plot, so too does the symbol of the horse appear more frequently throughout the text. In the scene following, William discloses to Esther "how unhappy he had been in his marriage" (Moorel66). Yet, Esther's only response is how "the poor little horse was pulling that 'ard that I thought he'd drop down dead," (Moore 167). Through this
42


rebuttal, Esther uses the symbol of the horse as a parallel to indicate her own state in life as a result of William's "love." Additionally, the image of the horse remains in close association with the characters' dialogue about themes of duty versus the hedonistic pleasures of extramarital desire. In another conversation, William discloses how he "had been backing winners [of horse races] all the season" and the novel reveals, it is "at that moment a sensation of the love she had once felt for him sprang upon her suddenly" (Moore 175). The horse both indicates to the reader the uprising of Esther's passion toward William, and functions as a catalyst for Esther's reinvigorated infatuation. This correlation between romantic fantasy and the image of the horse continues in a later scene when Ester spends the duration of a carriage ride contemplating the hypothetical of her marriage to William. The novel relates, "she did not doubt that William was going to marry her; and the cab had hardly entered the Brompton Road when her thoughts were fully centered in the life that awaited her" (Moore 204). The notion that the carriage ride ignites in Esther thoughts of her love for William builds on foundations of earlier literary carriage rides laced with romantic innuendo. However, romance is not the only theme bound to the image of the horse; Stephan Regan comments, "there is romance and excitement to be found in horseracing, but the novel repeatedly exposes the exploitive nature of the sport and obliquely aligns it with Esther's domestic servitude" (Moore xii). While the horse serves as an indicator of passionate love within the novel, it equally serves to further the development of themes related to the debate about social class and the sport of horseracing.
In addition to exploring themes of love, Esther Waters continues the legacy of employing equestrian symbolism to explore newly emerging ideologies of Victorian England at the turn of the 20th century like the surfacing of ideas regarding the New Woman and the increasingly democratic access to class mobility. Stephan Regan's introduction to the novel notes that "the sport of horse racing assumed a major significance [in Esther Waters], both as an immensely colourful source of narrative incident and as a perfect metaphor with which to illustrate the ruthlessly competitive nature of Victorian class
43


society" (Moore x). Through the metaphoric implications of the image of horseracing, and the
corresponding portrayal of the poverty-stricken lower class men who rely on gambling for a chance at
wealth, Moore employs equestrian symbolism to initiate conversation about important issues of class
mobility and the idea of being able to "purchase" and "win" class status through betting. In this way,
Moore's application of equestrian imagery both adopts the standards of Victorian literature connecting
horses and wealth, and adapts the theme to suit his unique agenda of addressing the issue of gambling.
With the central image of racehorses in the novel comes the correlating theme of betting and
gambling. The significance of this topic to the author is demonstrated in the novel's introduction
revealing that "it was very much in Moore's interests that the debate over the morality of Esther
Waters coincided with a broader debate about the morality of horseracing and gambling. ... In Esther
Waters, horseracing has a powerful appeal, and it proves to be the ruin of masters and servants alike"
(Moore xi). Thus, Esther Waters is concerned with exploring themes of gambling and the risk of downfall
it involves. The text more explicitly references the negative consequences of betting through character
dialogue with Esther. Even those directly involved with horseracing disapprove of the costs of the sport,
as one of Esther's coworker reflects in her exasperated interjection, "oh, that betting! The whole
place is poisoned with it. A great deal of harm do come from this betting on race-horses" (Moore
75). This sentiment is repeated later in the text with the complaint that
the whole neighborhood is demoralized by this betting; nothing is thought of but tips; the day's racingthat's all they think aboutthe evening papers, and the latest information. Every day we hear of some new misfortunea home broken up, the mother in the workhouse, the daughter on the streets, the father in prison, and all on account of this betting. (Moore 250)
Through these various instances of dialogue, Moore addresses the complex issue of betting and
gambling brought about with the prominence of horseback racing. In this, the image of the horse is
inevitably linked with the negative consequences of impropriety. Esther herself is not exempt from
these negative consequences, and suffers significantly throughout the text for her association with the
horseracing scene. Like the downfall of Tess in association with the image of the horse, Esther's story
44


similarly reflects the genre of cautionary tales used to warn women against unchecked love. In a similar
tragic manner, Esther ultimately ends up right back where she began, indicated by the repetition of the novel's introductory line in Chapter 45. Esther's downfall reflects the inevitable emptiness of fleeting pleasures as a means of cautioning the reader against participation in lecherous undertakings.
Throughout the novel, the image of the horse is associated with themes of impropriety and debauchery. When Esther eventually ends up marrying William, who continues his business of gambling on the horse races, he decides to take Esther and their two mutual friends, Bill Evans and Sarah, to the racecourse. While there, Esther encounters her pious previous lover, Fred, who scolds Esther, "this is not innocent pleasure, Esther; this is drunkenness and debauchery" (Moore 231). Fred's opinion echoes Esther's own opinion in the beginning of the novel when the narrator expresses, "she had heard of racecourses as shameful places where men were led to their ruin, and betting she had always understood to be sinful.... It was no place for a Christian girl" (Moore 19). Through these examples, the texts convey an understanding of the interrelatedness between the image of the horse, the sport of horseracing, and moral wantonness.
The scenes including a high density of horses demonstrate a general reflection of this association between the horse and impropriety. The scene of the racetrack in particular exhibits the intemperate atmosphere surrounding equine sport. Moore describes the scene of the horse races with detailed description of "the peep show" and "the sun-baked Downs strewn with waste paper and covered by tipsy men and women, a screaming and disordered animality" (234). Just as the image of the horse within Victorian literature is laden with a variety of thematic connotations, so too does the setting of the horse races support a variety of improper activities from wanton gambling to drunken carousing to lewd sexual promiscuity. The declaration of these offenses is repeated in the novel's description of the bar nearby the Downs. The narrator recounts, "at the 'Spread Eagle' there would be stoppage for a parting drink. ... A horse, with its fore-legs clothed in a pair of lady's drawers" (Moore 235). The bar's
45


sexually suggestive name underscores the interconnectivity between the sport of horseracing and illicit
behavior. This connection is further established in the equine emblem flaunting a pair of lady's drawers. The parallel between horses and improper behavior is explicitly addressed in the description that "horses were drinking in the trough; their drivers were drinking in the bar; girls in light dresses shared glasses of beer with young men" (Moore 225). This three-fold parallelism reaffirms the association between horse, drunkard, and philanderer.
This issue of immorality in association with horses extends even to those humans who care for the racehorses. The novel reveals that at Woodview horse breeding estate, "the pantry had its etiquette and its discipline. Jockey boys were rarely admitted" (Moore 29). The jockey boys are deemed unfit for the pantry because their constant intimate proximity with horses (the symbol of salaciousness) renders them rude and undisciplined. This assumption affirms the novel's work in confirming the literary association between the symbol of the horse and themes of lechery. However, the image of the horse raises discussion not only about issues of morality, but also questions of modernity.
Yet, while the novel employs the image of the horse in a similar manner as its literary predecessors in connection to themes of love and social class, Esther Waters simultaneously demonstrates a drastic ideological shift within society. While the heroines of Austen's novels were in many ways dependent upon their male counterparts for social and economic stability, the gender roles are nearly reversed in George Moore's novel as Esther works to support the males in her life (both her son, and her sickly husband). Additionally, Esther is characterized as a working woman in every stage of the novel. In this way, Esther's associations with the horse mark a shift in gender roles within Victorian society: namely the rise of the New Woman. This contributes to the novel's overall consideration for themes of modernity.
From the opening lines of the novel, the author demonstrates his interest in the contrasting themes of modernity and tradition through the respective images of locomotive and equine
46


transportation. The scene recounts how Esther "stood on the platform watching the receding train. .
A moment more and the last carriage would pass out of sight" (Moore 3). From this introductory scene, the author paints the image of the main character at a major crossroads in her life: deciding between the rural and the urban, the modern and the romantic, the independence (yet poverty) of a self-made woman or the dependence (yet security) of a married one. This theme resurfaces later in the novel when "William regretted that he had not a nice trap to drive them down. The road wasn't what it used to be; every one goes by train now" (Moore 222). Through this exploration of the conflict between train and trap, the novel captures the excitements and anxieties of Victorian society surrounding the newly emerging technology and the implications of the iron horse. This allusion to locomotive transportation recalls the work of Silver Blaze in deliberating the significant changes to society that came with the technologies of the modern age. These changes can be traced, however subtly, through the application of equestrian symbolism throughout Victorian literature, from George Eliot's Mill on the Floss to George Moore's Esther Waters.
These various literary examples also help to point out a major differentiating factor between
equestrian symbolism of the Victorian era and earlier uses of the symbol: namely, the prevalence of the
image of the horse in characteristically tragic plots. While turn-of-the-century authors relied on
equestrian symbolism to advance their plots toward a "happily ever after" ending, the Victorian novels
in which horses are featured are predominantly tragic. Literary critic, Elise Michie, notes that
in the latter half of the 19th century the horse ceased to be a comfortable emblem of the pleasures of dominance and became instead a locus for articulating anxieties about force, individuals, and emotions that. threatened to break free from the subordinate positions traditionally allotted to them and establish empires of their own. (164)
This pessimistic turn for the symbol of the horse is reflected in the cataclysmic endings of the various
novels that feature horses. Equine imagery throughout Victorian literature serves to foreshadow so
many woeful ends: the rising floodwaters that drowned Maggie Tulliver, the execution of Tess
Durbeyfield, the death of Straker, the cyclical destitution of Esther Waters. However, while in Victorian
47


literature the symbol of the horse may have become a subtle indicator of a dreary ending, equestrian symbolism in Victorian society at large became associated with advertisements of pleasurable diversions (however disreputable) sought after to alleviate life's miseries.
Multimedia Mares: Horses in Film and Photography
In addition to the influence equestrian symbolism held within Victorian literature, the symbol of the horse played a significant role in the rhetoric of newly emerging forms of discourse. Particularly, the underlying connotation of the symbol of the horse, established through the Victorian literary canon, considerably influenced the narrative expression being developed in media like photography and film. Equestrian symbolism in the Victorian era was not constricted to one medium, rather, "horse imagery was employed by virtually every visual and literary genre in the nineteenth century, interfacing with the culture through a complex of signifying practices, both to support and disrupt ideologies of gender and class" (Dorre 98). This widespread application of the symbol within the culture of Victorian society is demonstrated particularly in the photography and film of the era.
One instance of the application of equestrian symbolism in Victorian photography can be seen in the 1867 photograph advertisement for a Broadway burlesque show entitled "The Devil's Auction" (Figure 2). In the advertisement, the full-body profile of a performer in the characteristically venereal performance is pictured in full costume as a majestic white horse. A realistic horse head is perched atop the showgirl's own head and a horsetail falls from a cage-bustled mini skirt. The copious strands of pearls worn around her bare arms and hose-covered legs creates the illusion of horse hooves as the call girl poses in a position meant to indicate prancing or rearing. Despite the fact that this particular image promotes a stage production in New York, the American artifact closely reflects the evolution of equestrian symbolism within Victorian English society. Within the image, the selection of the equine character as a representative for the show overall, hinges upon the socially pre-established association between the image of the horse and dissipation. The power of the equine image to suggest such
48


intricate innuendoes is the result of widespread reinforcement of such a connection within Victorian
society (in a large part thanks to literature and the arts). The assumed associations between equestrian imagery and libidinous undertones are reflected in the fact that, "as a term popular during the 1860s, 'horsebreaker' not only described one who tamed horses, but also referred to a prostitute, especially when coded in feminine form, such as in the expression, a 'pretty horsebreaker'" (Dorre 73). The advertisement for "The Devil's Auction" demonstrates the burlesque show's reinforcement of this double meaning. Through the Victorian association between the image of the horse and themes of licentiousness, the advertisement is able to communicate the licentious intentions at the core of the burlesque performance through the simple image of the scantily clad mare with the aid of very minimal supplemental text.
However, the equestrian symbolism behind the image also reflects the spread of middle-class ideologies within Victorian society. While the poster girl of the burlesque show represents sexual lasciviousness, she also indicates the rising social acceptance of female occupation. Tracy Davis explains the rising acceptability of women in professions (and particularly women in the profession of acting) by revealing that, "educated and respectable entertainers were accepted as the heart and brains of the leisure industry, resulting in what Baker calls the 'rise of the Victorian actor' to a middle-class status" (4). While prostitutes and working women before the Victorian age were scorned as the lowest members of society, the idea of women in the working class became increasingly acceptable in the Victorian era. Thus, the image of the horse in Victorian humanities functions as much more than a mere indicator of passionate romance; throughout the arts of the era, the symbol is transformed to represent the changing ideologies surrounding the accessibility to economic independence for females. While the image of the horse functions as a measure of the changing perspectives of Victorian society regarding women in the work force, horses in visual media of the era also reveal the growing awareness of gender dynamics.
49


The theme of gender relations as it plays out through the image of the horse is central to the medium of cinematography. Through the adoption and transposition of such literary symbols, the newly developing medium of photography acquired a foundation for nuanced communication in image. This presence of suggestive subtleties is present in the original motion picture as well. In her essay, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, Laura Mulvey comments on the patriarchal ideology behind Hollywood cinema. She observes that "mainstream film (has) coded the erotic into the language of the dominant patriarchal order" (Mulvey 1173). However, this "mainstream" "Hollywood" trend is nothing new to the filmic art form; from its conception, film and male sexual dominance have been inextricably linked.
Sallie Gardner at a Gallop, the film credited as being the "first film" in history, demonstrates the inextricable link between themes of sexuality and patriarchal dominance and cinematic production through the subtle undertones and social connotations at play behind the short film (Figure 3). To understand these undertones of gender and sexuality at play within the film, it is important to note the association between the symbol of the horse and feminine sexuality prevalent throughout Victorian literature and culture suggested throughout the earlier part of this essay. With strict censorship guidelines for literary publication in the Victorian era, the image of the horse provided authors and artists a symbolic innuendo to discuss romantic behaviors. In her article Horses andSexual/Social Dominance, Elise B. Michie notes that "in the novelistic portraits of the men who desire [the leading female character] that extension of the body that marks sexuality is evoked through the horse" (Michie 156). From this literary and artistic tradition, the image of the horse (especially in art) became branded with the implications of double entendre. With such an association agreed upon, a feminist reading of the film recognizes Sallie Gardner as a reinforcement of the male dominant patriarchal values of Victorian society and the Victorian literary association between the image of the horse and the theme of sexuality.
50


Of preliminary importance to this interpretation of the sexual implicit quality of Sallie Gardner is
the gendered nature of the film's director and cast. Directed by Eadweard Muybridge, the film follows the tradition of male dominant artistic production. Additionally, the two characters at work within the film are the male jockey, Domm, and the Thoroughbred mare, Sallie Gardner. The clear gender binary places the horse in the typical female role within the narrative.
According to Cixous, "male writing either obscures women or reproduces the classic representation of women" (1646). In the case of Sallie Gardner, both are true. Through cultural and literary tradition, the woman has become obscured to the point of being symbolically represented as a horse. Yet, the female horse depicted, standing as a representation of the female generally, simultaneously adheres to the "classic representation of women" as objects of aesthetic beauty. This idea of the woman as an object of beauty relates closely to what Mulvey calls fetishistic scopophilia. Mulvey describes scopophilia as a "complete disavowal of castration by the substitution of a fetish object" (1177). In Sallie Gardner, the mare becomes the substitutive fetish object. This fact is underscored by the films ability to "build up the physical beauty of the object, transforming it into something satisfying in itself" (Mulvey 1177). Furthermore, Mulvey notes of the female in film that "she is isolated, glamorous, on display, sexualized. and becomes his property" (1177). So too is Sallie portrayed as glamorous (the "beauty" of a horse is often commented on), on display (being central to the film's frame and something worthy of filming), and sexualized (she is not galloping alone but runs underneath, and between the legs of, her male rider). This sexualization of Sallie is a result of the Victorian notion that, "because it is ridden, the horse has a particularly intimate relation to the human body" (Michie 146). The scopophilic fetishization of women in film lies latent in the social connotations of the image of the horse. Gina M. Dorre comments on the Victorian notion that, "like the wild horse in the ring, [woman's] undisciplined body and beauty [were considered] so overtly striking that they must be sexualized, orientalized, fetishized, and made dreadful" (83). Sallie Gardner is no exception to the
51


propagation of this Victorian notion. Not only does Sallie as an image of woman adhere to the fetishistic
objectification of the female in cinema, the mare potentially also exhibits the increasing awareness of the subordination of women within the traditionally patriarchic society of 19th century England. Through the lens of feminist critique, Sallie Gardner becomes another example of the latent association within Victorian culture between the image of the horse and themes of sexuality.
Central to feminist thought is the notion of the subjection and confinement of women. Gilbert and Gubar express this idea of feminine confinement within patriarchal society in relation to objectification by stating that the woman, "conditioned to believe that as a house she is herself owned .
. by a man, she may once again but for yet another reason see herself as inescapably an object"
(Gilbert 1542). The house, being a common image in relation to the woman, can easily be replaced by its near-homograph "horse" in reference to the film of galloping Sallie. The horse too is "owned by a man" and is "inescapably an object." Thus, conditioned to believe that the horse is a suitable substitute for the woman, the viewer of Sallie Gardner is reaffirmed of the patriarchal social codes surrounding gender relations. Thus, like the mare, women become "prisoners of their own gender" (Gilbert 1541). Cixous expresses that woman "is reduced to being the servant of the militant male, his shadow" (1647). The double meaning of man's "shadow" rings especially true for the first film in history, as, undeniably, the horse assumes a posture of "servant to the militant male." This cinematic subordination of women goes hand in hand with the cinematic valorization of the male protagonist in film, a standard demonstrated in Sallie Gardner as well.
Equally important to the role of women in film within cinematic feminist theory is the role of men in film. Mulvey notes that, in contrast to the female figure in film, "the male protagonist is free to command the stage" (Mulvey 1177). This is certainly true of Domm who literally commands the mare with bridle and stirrup. Additionally, the very presence of Domm as a member of the cast reaffirms notions of gender within the film. The film's mandate that the rider be present in the scene reaffirms
52


the dominance of the male and establishes the jockey (rather than the horse) as the legitimately active and accomplished member of the duo by suggesting the horse would not have galloped, or flown, without his aid. In this regard, the film adheres to the standard "active/looking, passive/looked-at split in terms of sexual difference and the power of the male symbolic encapsulated in the hero" (Mulvey 1179). While the heroic male jockey works and upholds his position of power over the animal, the horse remains merely an object of aesthetic beauty and fascination. This aesthetic value of the horse serves to establish the central importance of "woman's to-be-looked-at-ness" in cinema (Mulvey 1179). These notions of female as object of beauty, in connection with the understanding of male activity and supremacy as an undercurrent to the film relate to the connection between feminism and post colonialism highlighted by the interchangeability of woman with horse.
The connection between imperial dominance and patriarchy is addressed by Cixous with the image depicting "women return from afar, from always: from 'without' from beyond 'culture'" (1645). The idea that woman originates outside of culture demonstrates the connection between colonialism and a masculine dominant society (and reversely demonstrates the connection between post colonialism and feminism). Gilbert and Gubar underscore this relationship by noting "Frantz Fanon's model of colonialism to describe the relationship between male (parent) culture and female (colonized) literature" (Gilbert 1534). The idea of male-dominated empire and its surrounding patriarchal discourse build upon notions of human supremacy over the "irrational" animal kingdom. Thus, in light of male dominant ideologies latent in Western culture, the connection between woman and beast (in this instance, woman and horse) reinforces gendered behavior codes of patriarchal society.
The implications of structuralism on feminist theory are also central to a feminist understanding of literary theory and film studies. Cixous explains that "woman has always functioned 'within' the discourse of man, a signifier that has always referred back to the opposite signifier" (1651). Conceiving
53


of woman as a signifier continuously referring back to the central referent "man" is particularly significant in light of Saussure's explanation of the "arbitrary nature" of the sign. Because of this arbitrary nature, the signifier can be replaced by any other signifier just as the woman can be replaced by any other object (in this instance, a horse). The film Sallie Gardner therefore takes the view that woman "stands in patriarchal culture as a signifier for the male other" and reinforces the gender binary through second order signification (using the horse as a signifier of woman) (Mulvey 1173). Thus, Sallie Gardner can be read as a mythology of patriarchal social values of Victorian society.
Through the lens of feminist critique, the film of Sallie Gardner at a Gallop becomes a work Gilbert and Gubar would agree falls into the category of "palimpsestic: works whose surface designs conceal or obscure deeper, less accessible (and less socially acceptable) levels of meaning" (1533). The undertones of male dominant gender roles run as a subtle undercurrent throughout the entire short film. Considering the male/master, female/beast binary prevalent in the composition, the "film reflects, reveals and even plays on the straight socially established interpretations of sexual difference which controls images, erotic ways of looking and spectacle" and demonstrates that Hollywood was not the inventor of cinematic patriarchy, but that male dominant codes underpinned cinema from its very conception (Mulvey 1172).
These multimedia examples demonstrate not only that Victorian culture was saturated with equestrian symbolism, but also that the image of the horse within Victorian society held incredible symbolic weight as an indicator of the era's many ideological changes. While the horse was a seemingly commonplace facet of Victorian society due to its common use as a means of transportation, the image functions as a symbolic indicator of more subtle themes like passionate romance, economics, sport, and gender relations while reflecting the many historic influences at work within the culture. As Gina Dorre has commented,
"horse discourses communicate and negotiate apprehensions regarding such things as
industrialism and technology; constructions of masculinity, femininity, and sexuality; ruptures in
54


the social fabric caused by class conflict and mobility; the crisis of aesthetics amid a culture of mass production and consumption; and the heady but uncertain energies of national progress and imperial expansion. [This] evocative trope functions as a repository of desire and despair in a society responding to astonishing social, economic, political, and technological alteration." (6)
While the image of the horse is often overlooked as commonplace and meaningless within Victorian literature, the richness of its symbolic implications renders it a subject worthy of critical consideration. Throughout the literature and media of the Victorian era, the image of the horse functions not only as an indicator of wealth and passionate romance, but also reflects the changing ideologies of the highly volatile age. Much like the use of iconic cars in modern cinema as an indicator of a character's disposition and a reflection of the innovations of our modern age, the horse in Victorian humanities stood for much more than a means of transportation.
55


WORKS CITED
Austen, Jane. Emma. 2001 Modern Library Classics ed. New York: Modern Library, 2001. Print.
Austen, Jane. Mansfield Park. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1996. Print.
Austen, Jane, and Carol Howard. Pride and Prejudice. Barnes and Noble Classic ed. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2003. Print.
Austen, Jane, and Laura Engel. Sense and Sensibility. Barnes and Noble Classic ed. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2003. Print.
Bloom, Harold. Bloom's Major Novelists: Comprehensive Research and Study Guide, "Thomas Hardy." Broomall, PA: Chelsea House Publishers, 2003. Print.
Boumelha, Penny. Tomas Hardy and Women: Sexual Ideology and Narrative Form. Totowa, NJ: Barnes and Noble Press, 1982. Print.
Bronfen, Elisabeth. "Pay As You Go: On the Exchange of Bodies and Signs." The Sense of Sex: Feminist Perspectives on Hardy. Ed. Margaret R. Higgonet. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1993. Print.
Cixous,Helene. "The Laugh of the Medusa." The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends. Ed. David H. Richter. Boston: Bedford, 1998. Print.
Danahay, Martin A. Nature Red in Hoof and Paw: Domestic Animals and Violence in Victorian Art.
Victorian Animal Dreams: Representations of Animals in Victorian Literature and Culture. Ed. Deborah Denenholz Morse and Martin A. Danahay. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007. Web. 26 April 2016.
Davis, Tracy C. Actresses as Working Women: Their Social Identity in Victorian Culture. Theatre and Gender Series. New York, NY: Routledge, 1991. Print.
Dickens, Charles, and Fred Kaplan. Hard Times: An Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism. 3rd ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2001. Print.
Dorre, Gina M. Victorian Fiction and the Cult of the Horse. Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2006. Print.
Doyle, Arthur Conan, and John Berendt. "Silver Blaze." The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. New York: Modern Library, 2002. Print.
Eliot, George, and Carol T. Christ. The Mill on the Floss: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, and
Garcia Landa, Jose Angel. The Chains of Semiosis: Semiotics, Marxism, and the Female Stereotypes in
"The Mill on The Floss." New Casebooks, "The Mill on the Floss." Ed. Nahem Yousaf and Andrew Maunder. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan, 2002. Print.
56


Gilbert, Sandra and Susan Gubar. "Infection in the Sentence." The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends. Ed. David H. Richter. Boston: Bedford, 1998. Print.
Hardy, Thomas, and Scott Elledge. Tess of the D'Urbervilles: An Authoritative Text with Criticism. 3rd Ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 1991. Print.
Holloway, John. Hardy's Major Fiction. British Victorian Literature: Recent Revaluations. Ed. Shiv K. Kumar. New York, NY: New York University Press, 1969. Print.
James, Louis. The Victorian Novel. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2006. Print.
Lehner, Karen. "Suggestions of Desire in Horseback Riding, Foxhunting, and Music Making in "Mansfield Park." Approaches to Teaching Mansfield Park. Eds. Folsom, Marcia McClintock, and John Wiltshire. New York: Modern Language Association, 2014. p. 83-90. Print.
Michie, Elise B. Horses andSexual/Social Dominance. Victorian Animal Dreams: Representations of Animals in Victorian Literature and Culture. Ed. Deborah Denenholz Morse and Martin A. Danahay. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007. Web. 26 April 2016.
Miller, J. Hillis. Thomas Hardy: Distance and Desire. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1970. Print.
Moore, George. Esther Waters. London: Oxford UP, 1964. Print.
Mulvey, Laura. "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema." The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends. Ed. David H. Richter. Boston: Bedford, 1998. Print.
Olsen, Kirstin. "Carriages" and "Horses." All Things Austen: A Concise Encyclopedia of Austen's World.
Vol. 1 (A-L). Oxford: Greenwood World Pub., 2008. Print.
Young, R. J. "Postcolonial Remains." New Literary History A3.1 (2012): 19-42. Project MUSE. Web. 26 April 2016. .
57


APPENDIX
Figure 1.1 An Enquiry after Stretchit in Gloucestershire or The Sailor's Reply. The British Museum, 1803. http://www.britishmuseum.ora/research/collection online/collection object details/collection image gallery, aspx ?assetld=965894001&obiectld=3025557&partld=l
58


Figure 1.2 An Enquiry after Stretchit in Gloucestershire or The Sailor's Reply. Eduard Fuchs, UK National Maritime Museum, unknown 1800-1810. http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/138542.html
59


Figure 2 The Devil's Auction. Charles McClaghy Collection, unknown 1890-1900.

i-S

THE DEVILS AUCTION "
Entcrol Mi?'td(nv l* Ati r Oiimh-m. in lie
/ ' Ji'Hr IW, ....... AB.iK.ta tt*- ... / / y/
/// If/?}/ fthk* i.niit, / //, 7J)r///r/f YZ//. f. *S,
4, Ut*.*wt(nnin>crtMtSowT*Jfc-'_'__ i_____________________
60


Figure 3 Muybridge, Eadweard. Sallie Gardner at a Gallop. 1878.
61


Full Text

PAGE 1

THE REIGN OF THE HORSE IN VICTORIAN LITERATURE by SARAH KELLER BA, University of Colorado, Boulder 2013 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado Denver in partial fulfillment Of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts English Literature Program 2016

PAGE 2

ii This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Sarah Keller has been approved for the English Literature Program by Bradford Mudge, Chair Gillian Silverman Jeffrey Franklin Date December 17 2016

PAGE 3

iii Keller, Sarah (M.A., English Literature) of the Horse in Victorian Literature Thesis direc ted by Professor Bradford Mudge A BSTRACT The widespread knowledge of and familiarity with horses in the 19 th century rendered them a fitting subject for authors to mold into a variety of symbolic meanings within their literature. This essay considers the evolution and complexity of the symbol of the horse throughout 19 th century literature and the insight equest rian symbolism provides into broader topics like gender relations, class relations, and the rise of new forms of technology in the later part of the era. In early 19 th century literature, authors employ equestrian symbolism as a means of providing caution ary insight into female conduct surrounding intimate relationships. This symbol is adopted and adapted by various other writers of cautionary romances in the Victorian era (1837 1901), including George Eliot in Mill on the Floss and Thomas Hardy in Tess of r bervilles. Later in the era, equestrian symbolism i s applied to themes like sport and gambling through the image of the racehorse. This liter ary refashioning of the horse in Esther Waters The Adventure o f the Silver Blaze pro vides insight into the changing culture at the turn of the 20 th century Additionally, the essay considers the legacy of equestrian symbolism amidst the rise of new forms of media like film and photography The essay provides a critic al approach to the symbol of the horse and its implications in the 19 th century world of changes in technology and gender relations. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Bradford Mudge

PAGE 4

iv TABLE OF CO NTENTS CHAPTER I. INRODUCTION .1 II. TURN OF THE CENTURY FOUNDATIONS .3 III. THE VICTORIAN TRANSFORMATION ..1 2 s ..12 Taking a Gambol: Horse s and Sport .... ..3 4 Multimedia Mares: Horses in Film and Photography .48 .. .5 6 58

PAGE 5

1 C HAPTER I INTRODUCTION In one of the opening scenes from Hard Times by the quintessential Victorian novelist, Charles Dickens, schoolmaster Mr. Gradgrind arm is caused by the culture (Dickens 7). Sis expansive meaning of a horse than the comically straightforward definition provided by her classmate, Bitzer. In this scene of Hard Times Dickens points out the complexity behind t he image of the horse in 19 th century art, literature, and culture. Thus, this scene provides an introduction for the deeper investigation of how the use of equestrian symbolism developed and changed throughout the century. As a symbol of status and a pri mary means of transportation in the 19 th century, horses were indispensible to Victorian society. The widespread knowledge of and familiarity with horses rendered them a fitting subject for authors to mold into a variety of symbolic meanings within their l iterature. As demonstrated in the art and literature of the late 18 th and early 19 th centuries, the symbol of the horse was commonly associated with themes of passionate love. T his latent meaning remained a major aspect of equestrian symbolism throughout t he later part of the 19 th century. However, throughout the Victorian era equestrian symbolism served to signal the rise in middle class ideologies and the horse owning male protagonists within literature became increasingly disreputable While equestrian s ymbolism in Victorian literature maintained a similar role as it did in literature from the turn of the 19 th century as an indicator of the passionate affection and economic prosperity of the man behind the horse, the desirability of such a man as an ideal suitor dramatically decreases over the course of the

PAGE 6

2 Victorian period as values of acquiring wealth through the marriage market were replaced by ideologies criticizing the decadence and imprudence of aristocratic classes and praising more independent means of economic accrual for women.

PAGE 7

3 CHAPTER II TURN OF THE CENTURY FOUNDATIONS The connection between horses and sexuality was a theme found throughout English popular culture in the 19th century. The thematic association between the horse and sexual dissolution appears in an illustration by Piercy Roberts (after George Woodward) fro m 1803 entitled, An Enquiry after (Figures 1.1 and 1.2). The image depicts a comely young lady of eligible age riding astride on horseback with legs wide apart and ankles showing. The woman has stopped her eant to insinuate that that her manner of riding symbolic indicator of the latent themes of sexuality, this text provides insight into the Victorian anx ieties surrounding the purity and chastity of women. The comic additionally demonstrates the familiarity in Victorian society with the association between the image of the horse and themes of dissipation in romantic relationships. This connection between t he symbol of the horse and precautions against sexual lascivity appear throughout 19 th century literature. English literature from the turn of the 19th century demonstrates a propensity for employing the symbol of the horse as a means of insinuating the se xual integrity (or immorality) of a character. G eorgian foundation of equestrian symbolism is the archetypal Jane Austen. The theme of love is fundamental to the works of Jane Austen. Yet, Austen develops the theme of love in more intricate ways than simply relying on the interactions between character s; her utilization

PAGE 8

4 consideration of the topic. Through the symbol of the horse, Austen demonstrates how, in rightly ordered love, passionate affection is bal groundwork for the literary association between the image of the horse and precautionary themes regarding love and marriage. Throughout 18th and 19th century England, horses maintained both social a nd literary significance. All Things Austen: A Concise Encyclopedia of Austen's World states, considered to be exceptionally good e xercise, especially for ladies" (reference). The Mirror of the Graces century raceho rse owners gave horse in that era (Nicolson 31). With these pre established undertones regarding horses and horseback riding, Austen adopts the image as a literary trope to explore the theme of love. The author assimilates these social connotations of the horse in her own works and uses them to her advantage to advance her position on rightly ordered love. This consideration of the theme of love through th e representation of the horse foreruns a trend in Victorian literature. For Austen, the symbolism of the horse connotes passionate love and ardent desire (if not quite the outright transgression against sexual propriety the horse symbolizes for her literar y successors). In her chronology of works published within her lifetime, Austen applies the technique of the horse motif as a signifier of love as early as Sense and Sensibility by including the gift of a horse Marianne receives from her lover Willoughby. Establishing further correlation between the horse and love, Austen names Romeo and Juliet

PAGE 9

5 pleasure and passion passion that the symbol of the horse distinctly signifies. The image of the horse as a symbol of passionat e love, also appears in the novel Mansfield Park a horse from the man she loves, establishing a correlation between the image of the horse and the s event, Karyn Lehner notes that, in obtaining a soc ially acceptable forms. in the ways that characters engage in pleasurable activities. Although firmly placed in the background, the motifs of horses and recreational riding demonstrate the mportance of passion and affection in love and marriage (Lehner Mansfield Park ssionate affection in lessons for Mary Crawford. There are it was Edmund who reasoned Fanny out of her fears when she began to ride; it was Edmund who later acquired a horse, himself, for her use. Now she has to watch Mary learning to ride o (Williams 101). The pain of watching Mary ride with Edmund is a result of the deep rooted affection on the mare so carefully selected b y Edmund as an ideal mount for a now adult Fanny. Fanny perceives,

PAGE 10

6 Mary has taken her place in a romantic relationship with Edmund (Lehner 85). How ever, through perseverance in affection, Fanny ultimately gains the object of her devotion. In the scene where my only sister my only ( Mansfield Park 367 suggests the essentiality of affection as a motivation for love and marriage. Austen also establishes a connection between passion in love and the depiction of the horse in her novel, Emma Frank Churchill, a character distinctly driven by his passions, is the subject around he approaches Emma (whom he flirtatiously employs as a faade to conceal his undisclosed engagement to Jane Fairfax) with the question, Emma 138). Later in the novel, d of other carriages. conviction on the importa from the Weston household after openly confessing his love for and engagement to Miss Fairfax (287). affection in love (apparently toward Emma, more discreetly toward Jane) is This envy demonstrates how passion is the middle ground between Mr. Churchill and Mr. Knightley. Mr.

PAGE 11

7 serves to further the thematic correlation between passionate love and the equestrian symbol. The trip to Donwell is one of the fir guest she pleases to to see Emma and, unpremeditatedly propose to her (315). While Mr. Knightley has access to a number of means of transportation, Austen explicitly divulges that his travels were by horseback (as opposed to traveling by coach or post chase) as a means of sub interpretation helps to demonstrate how, for Austen, the image of the horse serves as an indicator to alert the audience to passionate affection in love. The connection between horseback ridi ng and passionate love echoes the major theme of Pride and Prejudice regarding the importance of marrying for affection. This theme comes to the forefront in c (23). However, by establishing reason as a necessary counterpart to affection, Austen warns against love driven by unbridled passion symbolically represented by riding horseback. While Austen advocates for marriages of affection, she also establishes that there is more to love than passion and sentiment. A s coachmen laboriously bridle horses for ease in the steering of

PAGE 12

8 carriages, Austen argues that lovers must bridle their passions with altruism and reason to maintain ng are the two sides of the human personality which Jane Austen, as a true child of the Enlightenment, advocates should be kept in balance. Head and heart, prudence and romance, sense and sensibility in whatever pairings reason and feeling manifest Mansfield Park 59). Austen forwa rds her position that love has as much to do with the mind as the heart through her development of the character of Fanny Price and the equine motif. As a central figure in Mansfield Park compound of feeling and reason that an importance of balancing passion and reason in relationships of love (Lane 104). As a parallel to Marianne Dashwood as recipient of a gift horse, Fanny echoes the theme established in Sense and Sensi bility comprehend all the unhappy truths which attended the affair Fanny in her own relationships ( Sense and Sensibility 54, emphasis mine). Austen exemplifies the revolves around ho that would be exercise only to my body, and I must take care of my mind. Besides, that would be all recreation and succe Mansfield Park Henry Crawford has to live with the misery of having,

PAGE 13

9 104). Austen expounds upon the need to engage reason to check the passionate love (indicated by the image of the horse) in her novel Emma chivalry and civility. In the Medieval Ages, the mark of a knight was his golden spurs denoting his master hor semanship. A knight, however, was equally notorious for his honor in upholding the respectful codes of chivalry. Austen plays with this dualistic representation through the character of Mr. Knightley to demonstrate how the spurs of tenderheartedness must direct the horse of passionate love. For Austen, does Mr. Knightley (195). One instance in which Mr. Knightley demonstrates the importance of chival ry that we should arrive at the same moment; for, if we had met first in the drawing room. you might not have ld not have noticed the horses that connote his love for her (154). However, the reader later Knightley proves his capacity to love Emma singularly through his demonstration of chivalrous respect for women universally. The bridled horses of the carriage employed to convey Jane Fairfax symbolize how his passionate love for Emma is bridled by his courtesy toward all.

PAGE 14

10 Relying further on the equestrian image of the carriage, Austen establishes the connection between common courtesy and affectionate love through the scene at Box Hill. Mr. Knightley takes measures to instruct Emma in the ways of kin you acting wrong without a remonstrance. How could you be so unfeeling. so insolen t in your wit to they were advancing towards the carriage; it was ready; and, before she could speak again, he had 274). In this scene, Austen connects the image of the horse to the theme of love in subtly expressi ng how genuine love balances the passionate regard of another with the virtuous regard for the good of others. Mr. she has done and the augmentation of her character in determining to amend her uncivil behavior. In her novels, Jane Austen transforms the commonplace image of the horse into a subtle allusion to the theme of love by placing the equine image among scenes and characters of passionate affecti on. Austen underscores the importance of rightly ordered passion in relationships through the correlation between affection and the pleasure of horseback riding. However, continuing the extended metaphor of the horse, the author reveals that love and mar riage are not merely a matter of passion, but must also involve reason and altruism. Through the subtle details of character and theme development that surround her depiction of horses, Jane Austen draws attention to the importance of engaging affection, sense, and kindness in relationships, and reveals the consequences of unbalanced affection and the rewards of rightly ordered love. With Austen as a model, equestrian symbolism in turn of the century literature functions as an indicator of both aristocrati c wealth and passionate romance. This twofold symbolism reflects the

PAGE 15

11 through the marriage market, respectable women have access to financial gain and soc ial advancement. Throughout the literature of the turn of the century, the horse represents the affluence and ardor of its male rider. While themes of wealth and love remain a major allusion of equestrian symbolism in Victorian era, with the changing persp ectives of the era, the horse becomes less an indicator of the ideal suitor, and more an indicator of aristocratic corruption and increasing economic opportunity for women independent of marriage.

PAGE 16

12 CHAPTER III THE VICTORIAN TRANSFORMATION As integral as the image of the horse was in early 19 th century literature, the significance of the have expected that, as English society moved into the Victorian period, the horse would become less socially important, an anachronistic vestige of a land owning past, in fact the opposite was true. the nineteenth century became the great age of the hors literary technique of equestrian symbolism in early 19 th century fiction, Victorian authors reworked the technique of equestrian symbolism beyond a mere allusion to love in order to explore the impact of the politics, economics, sport, etc., the horse became a symbol in Victorian literature that was able comment on the shifting gender dynamics within the dra the symbol of the horse suggested the desirability of its gentleman owner, in Victorian literature, the horse becomes an indicator of the increasing undesirability of being association with members of the l anded aristocracy: a shift that parallels the changing perspectives of Victorian society at large. A more or the increasing independence of women through the symbol of the horse. The Mill on the Floss the strong, submissive, meek chapter, demonstrating the symbol not only helps to establish the rural setting of the novel, it also serves as a subtle indicator of the cautionary romance driven plot about to ensue. Throughout the novel, th e symbol maintains its traditional allusion to passionate romance.

PAGE 17

13 The literary association between love and horses demonstrated in the relationship between rs, what can be so delightful in England as a rainy morning? You gallop through it in a mackintosh, and presently find yourself in the seat you like best a little above or a little below the one on which your Even in situations where the appearance of a horse is necessary to the development of the plot as merely a method of transportation, the text remains laced with references to love. One scene suggests, umably drawn by horses is another scene of the novel describes how, in a moment of affectionate reconciliation, the young Tom resemblance to two friendly ponies. he was very fond of his sister, and meant always to take care of for the full fledged passion of romantic love, but the juvenile fraternal love that Victorians believed laid the groundwork for nuptial relationships in adulthood. With this in mind, it is interesting to note that the author alludes to horses in their more equestrian symbolism within the novel uphold the standard association between horses and passionate love. However, in the case of The Mill on the Floss (along with num erous texts of the Victorian era), the symbol of the horse is transformed into a multi faceted gender neutral image.

PAGE 18

14 Early in the plot, even before Maggie becomes the primary love interest of the novel, her physical beauty is equated to that of a horse. Th is image is used in direct connection to themes of r is described in equestrian terms when the nothing could be more tempting to a lad who had scene, the sexual undertones of and the equine signification of love. However, while allusions to the hor se remain an indicator of from stubbornness in properly grooming herself reveals a minor shift in gender politics. In his own critical analysis of the scen horse and therefore the theme of passionate love, Maggie resists the social ideology that constricts women to the singular role of lover. Maggie, in her desire to pursue education like her brother Tom, rather than maintaining her feminine appearances like her cousin Lucy in order to secure economic advancement af fection. Eliot further plays with the norms of equestrian symbolism by utilizing the image of the horse later in the novel as an indicator of romantic wooing.

PAGE 19

15 Throughout The Mill on the Floss the image of the horse appears to signal escalating passion be tween characters, continuing in the tradition of pre Victorian literature. The association between Over the course of the novel, Stephen is closely assoc iated with the image of the horse to demonstrate his hedonistic aims, which otherwise are obscured by his stunningly pleasant features. Within the to her a udience about the nature of their intimate affairs. Immediately after a scene in which the two with her own hand when he was turned out in the paddock. Was not Stephen Guest right in his decided opinion that this slim maiden of eighteen was quite the sort of wife a man would not be likely to repent spur on Stephen in his passionate love toward her and effectively initiates his contemplation of marrying vel is no idealistic gentleman, like Mr. Knightley or Mr. Darcy. While Stephen Guest may have the fortune and the passion of a Janeite hero, Eliot eventually reveals that his true character is by no means on par with these ideal suitors. Thus, the mention of the as a lover governed by unchecked passion. In a later scene of the novel, despite being engaged to Lucy, Stephen acts upon hedonistic impulse and rides to meet the recluse Maggie, residing with her aunt, to profess his love for her. The were streaked black with fast riding. Maggie felt a bea ting at head and heart horrible as the sudden

PAGE 20

16 pres reflective of the intense emotional response she feels. The scene of his proposal to Maggie immediately following demonstrates a congruent dependence on the symbol of the horse to suggest the impetuous nature of the events. The novel recounts how the strongest passion a man can feel. If I had my own choice, I should ask you to take my hand, and my fortune, and my whole life, and do what you liked with them. a man who loves with his whole soul, as I do you, is liable to be mastered by his feelings for a moment. y day to get away from the thought of you. (Eliot 361 362) equestrian themes perpetuates the traditional literary association between the horse and unruly love. While the novel continues to develop this motif throughout the text, one scene renders this literary association particularly explicit. In a secret ploy t o make Maggie elope, Stephen convinces her to go boating with him. Yet, the subsequent reflection upon the events undergone. Upon her conflicted departur e from the passionate of flagstone of a chaise and horses standing then a street, and a turning into another street where a stagecoach was standing, taking in passengers an and his plan for elopement demonstrate that the pursuit of self gratification motivates his actions and that his intentions are unchecked by reason and propriety. While the symbol of the horse in pre Victorian literature was commonly associated with the id

PAGE 21

17 associated with a man of ill will. Thus, the horse in Victorian literature reflects the increasing hesitation to trust wealthy suitors. Another element of the plot that reveals this changing connotations of the horse occurs when have been more correct to say that she had connection b paints a much more skeptical conclusion. In addition to its role as a symbol cautioning young women against imprudent romance, the symbol of the horse in Victorian literature also functions in relation to changing social ideologies within Victorian society, namely those surrounding gender and social status. George Eliot emp loys the image of the horse to bridge the gap between the separate spheres of gendered Victorian. In one introductory paragraph of the novel, the image of the horse is centered between discussion regarding the two spheres. In this, the literary richness of this subtle reference to the horse becomes a mediator between the gender roles binary of Victorian culture. The author describes, struggles had lain almost entirely within her own soul, Tom was engaged in a dustier, noisier warfa re. So it had been since the days of Hecuba and Hector, Tamer of men in fierce struggle in the hurrying ardor of action. (Eliot 251) Despite the fact that the roles and spheres of women and men remain separate and distinct within this description, the image of the horse in The Mill on the Floss and in Victorian literature in general, functions to reconcile the disparity between the genders. The a bility of the equine image to accomplish

PAGE 22

18 Equally imp ortant to the use of equestrian symbolism to explore themes of love is its function as an allusion to topics like wealth and social status within Victorian literature. In her article entitled The Mill on the Floss Mary Jean Cor Darwinist ideologies of lineage and breeding. While Corbett focuses primarily on the references to human pedigree, her interpretation of the novel as a work primarily focused on lineage sheds light on the th emphasize the importance of breeding and the r eduction of women in the marriage market to proliferators of favorable genetic qualities. This reading of the image of the horse marks the enrichment and occupational integrity is expressed in the statement that he hunting when he was younger, and rode a capital black mare as pretty a bit of horse flesh a s ever you characteristically female horse he Tulliver men, the cynical tone simultaneously functions to caution the reader against s uch behaviors as are exhibited by the leading males. Another instance of close association between characteristically sword (Eliot 144). By this slight nod to horses, the reader can more easily recognize the connection between such masculine endeavors like sword fighting and the endeavor of passionate romance gained by impressing young females.

PAGE 23

19 In addition to masculine skills, the symbol of the horse also appears as an indicator of economic prosperity, or in close proximity with the discussion of finances (a characteristically masculine subject in the Victorian era). Because of the costs associated with horse ownership, horses were a major indicator of class in the Victorian era. Similar to the way car brands function as a status symbol in contemporary society, the number, age, breed, appearance, etc., of horses involved in transportation were an outward al class. This is made particularly apparent in The Mill on the Floss when Maggie runs off to live with the gypsies (a low Alternately, well bred horses served as a status symbol of high a more expensive view of life, he had often thought that when he got older he would make a figure in the w Tom maintains this perspective throughout the novel. In a later part of the text, where Tom is seeking reco gnizes that access to wealth is generationally inherited. She toys with the idea that only the rich While horses function as an explicit representation of wealth, the r tipped off by the e questrian symbolism of his drop in social rank. Indeed, equestrian symbolism

PAGE 24

20 (Eliot 164). While M advisory, Mr. Wakem, enjoys the privileges of a landlord status and the equine amenities that come with the title. The novel recounts his visit to his Tulliver tenants stati his desperate longing to reverse this economic stratification through a symbolic act of dragging Mr. Wakem off his own horse. The novel describes the scene say ing, rearing and staggering backward, threw his rider from the saddle and sent him sideways on the ground. Before he could rise, Tulliver was off his horse too. [And, beating Wakem, said] 286) In this excerpt, the position of the characters in relation to their horses directly parallels the financial undert ones at play within the scene. This close connection between the symbol of the horse and the Elise Michie furthers this deeper reading of the image of the horse The Origin of Species thought of as subordinate people, animals, emotions were now understood to be unruly, eagerly seeking to overturn the structures and disciplines that traditionally bound them. Eliot and Hardy the Wakem Tulliver dichotomy demonstrate how the image of a man on a h orse functions as an economic indicator, it also reveals the newly emerging Darwinian perspectives of dominance and power at play in Victorian society. Additionally, as a result of the Industrial Revolution, Victorian society experienced a rise of social m obility. With such drastic alterations to social came the emergence of middle

PAGE 25

21 ty is not only integral to The Mill on the Floss ; numerous authors from the Victorian era follow suit in adopting the symbol of the horse for a multivalent trope in their own novels. The complex and far reaching ma nipulation of the image of the horse is equally demonstrated in provides another quintessential example of a novel in which equestrian symbolism closes the gap between gendered subjects a nd advances the cause of equestrian signification in Victorian literature. The prominence of the symbol of nnual race of three year old horses, founded in 1780 by the 12 th interest in establishing an undercurrent of equine references. One of the primary settings in whi ch subtly alluding to the passion laden symbol of the h orse through the nearly homonymous suggestion toward a chaise pleasure carriage. However, the symbol of the horse in the novel extends far beyond its clever application within names. Over the course of the novel, the symbol of the horse serves as a direct indicator of the financial and romantic status of the characters. For Hardy, the horse is a direct indicator of the passionate affection between two characters, and a symbol to caution against the particularly female gendered downfall that results from le tting passion rule unchecked by reason and propriety. While the issue of financial situation is somewhat superimposed on this topic of equestrian allusion, the majority of allusions to horses focus on the theme of love. Since is a n example of literature from the later portion of the Victorian symbol persevered in literature throughout the course of Victorian history.

PAGE 26

22 It is characteris the development of this theme of love is the role of the horse within his novels (Miller xii). The image of the horse is indispensable to reading between the lines of Tess entire course of her relationship with Alec is marked by the image of Alec on horseback, and inferentially therefore, the image of Alec desirously pining after Tess. Only ever encountering Tess once lle estate for employment. The text recounts how Tess drew near the spring cart. But before she had quite reached it, another vehicle shot out from a clump of trees on the summit. The second vehicle was not a humble conveyance like the first but a spick and span gig or dogcart, highly varnished and equipped. The driver was a young man of three or four and twenty the handsome horsey young buck who had visited Joan a week or two before to get her answer about Tess. Mrs. Durbeyfield clap ped her hands. Could she be deceived as to the meaning of this? (Hardy 37) Alec intends to outwardly display his intimate affection for Tess and gesture his desire to court her term casts on the tru e character of Alec in reference to his desirous impulse. Alec demonstrates his lack of concern for anything other than the fulfillment of this desire in his

PAGE 27

23 they sped, wheels humming like a top, the dogcart rocking right and left the figure of the horse rising and falling in undul ations before them. (Hardy 39) This passage, laden with double entendre reveals the Victorian association between horses and sexuality reflects the notion that men minate in their relation to sexually magnetic women and their ability to ride and control high pleasure. In establishing a parallel between Tess and the mare, this scene similarly provides a fitting The pinnacle of equestrian symbolism as a warning against unchecked passi on occurs in the encounter that renders her so is not explicitly mentioned, the audience may gather the nature of such n of the equine symbol, standard in Victorian literature of connoting such behavior. As a catalyst to these events, Tess (whose rationality is clouded by the anxiety of having to hastily depart from the scene of a bar fight) yields to the offer of riding h orseback with Alec as an climbed the gate, put her toe upon his instep, and scrambled into the saddle behind him. The twain cantered along [ and this minor slip will lead to her ultimate downfall and the compounding misfortunes that come as a consequence.

PAGE 28

24 The romantic tale of knight in shining armor is rewritten into tragedy with Tess when Alec proceeds to seduce (and arguably rape) the princess he has rescued from the dragon. In the scene subsequent to the rescue, his feet from the stirrups, turned sideways on the ( Hardy 54 55) the cob demonstrate how the symbol of the horse is intimately connected coercing Tess into passionate folly. Shortly after the impulsive escape on horseback, Tess realizes her recklessness a nd tries to regain herself by relinquishing Alec and dismounting from the horse. Yet, the chink in the armor has may; or you may ride placed in connection with riding and in opposition to walking. This syntactical move reflects the association between walking and prudent temperance, and horseback riding and passion driven licenti s left unsaid than what is said within the Thomas Hardy 108). The unspeakable act is literarily reduced to the s ymbol of horseback riding. The absence of any explicit reference to the implied events functions The description of the rape itself enacts the complex exchange of disembodiment it sets out to s ignify. By effacing a description of real physical violence and substituting for it a

PAGE 29

25 (Bronfen 77) Alec bestializes Tess, disregarding her individual human dignity and reducing her to an object of his desire. He views her as an animal to be domesticated and subjected to his passionate desires rather horically replacing the description of rape with vague allusion through equestrian symbolism. Just as Alec displays dominance over his horse to yield the pleasure of riding, so too does he execute dominance over the animalized Tess to yield the pleasure of seduction. After the connection between the image of the horse and the ill consequences of unhindered beside her Just look mare (and symbolically the state of his passionate love affair) above the wellbeing of Tess. middle haircut was indecorou orse, demonstrates the escalating skepticism of the gentry within Victorian society for the habits of conspicuous consumption and unmerited ascendancy. This disordered privileging of lechery, signified by the image of the horse, is set in contradistinction to later events of the novel.

PAGE 30

26 In accordance with this close association between the symbol of the horse and the unchecked passion that it signifies, it is equally important to notice the diminished mention of horses in reference to the upright courtship o f Angel Clare. The near absence of horses in association with Angel demonstrates his prudence in romantic relationships. Additionally, through his condescension of renouncing his inherited wealth in order to become a dairy farmer, Angel functions as an opp osite to the aristocratic Alec. Similarly, the absence of equestrian associations to Angel denotes his fulfillment of the newly emerging middle class ideals of Victorian society. The few occurrences of equine symbolism in association with this character do The first major allusion to horses occurs subtly in the scene where the butter will not come, despite consta nt churning. In this scene of Tess and Ange Upon returning to the dairy after a visit home to discuss with his parents his intentions to marry enter ed the house Clare heard the creaking of the floor and in turn, unbridling and fueling his passionate love for Tess, is justified by his nt to marry. Will you be that

PAGE 31

27 to secure a private setting to represent the question when the owner of the dairy farm asks for someone to deliver the produce, questioning, She mounted beside her lover with a mute obedience characteristic of impassioned natures escape yours! The secret is out, so why should you any longer refuse me? you will be mine In this u nusual scene in which Angel and Tess engage in equine transportation, the passage depicts the mounting passion between the nearly engaged couple. The act of Tess mounting the carriage is coupled wedding. T way off, and they were obliged to drive, particularly as it was winter. A close carriage was ordered from a roadside post wo instances in which Tess and Angel travel by carriage correlate directly with the development of plot surrounding love and matrimony. functions similarl cow and horse tracks in the road were full of water, the rain havi ng been enough to charge them, but that has been diminishe After the passion of their love has diminished, there is no mention of horses directly, but only 199). Similarly, when the couple returns to the dairy, it is

PAGE 32

28 love has descended from passionate vigor to subdued regret, so too does the couple descend from assumedly horse drawn carriage to the passionless mode of pedestrian transportation. Direct reference behavior toward Izz Huett. In one brief instance, Angel Clare does abandon his sense of propriety and act out of unchecked passion, asking Izz Huett if she will accompany him to Brazil and partake in a love affair with him. This scene occurs when Angel off ers Izz a ride home on his horse drawn gig. Furthermore, the description of this event is riddled with direct references to the horse establishing a connection between the symbol of the horse and lubricious behaviors. The novel describes, n to his horse and gig Izz jumped up beside him. [addressing Izz, Clare you m going to Brazil alone, Izz will you go with me instead of her? you know what it means, Izz. it will be wrongdoing in the eyes of civilization recognition of his wantonne ss appears in conjunction with significant discourse surrounding his horse to continue the ongoing association made between the image of the horse theme of aid (Hardy 212). In this instance, the directionality of the horse serves as a parallel to the conversion of tion. The association between the image of the horse and the two leading male suitors of the novel is integral to the development of the plot and the advancement of more subtle themes within the text. As Penny Boumelha expertly summarizes, It is not only Alec who is associated with the gigs and traps that, on occasion, literally run away acceptance of his proposal. Equally, the two ride to their wedding in a sinister funeral carriage, and when Angel makes his proposition to Izz, she is riding in his gig. It is noticeable, too, that during their wagon ride, Angel feeds Tess with berries that he has pulled from the trees with a whip, recalling the scene at The Slopes w 132)

PAGE 33

29 In each of these instances, the image of the horse is intimately associated with themes of love. This application of the horse thus advances the early 19 th century application of equestrian symbolism to themes of romance. Likewise, various other instances throughout the novel affirm the association between the image of the horse and the topic of romance. the gentleman a immediately assumed to be those of a traces is reaffirms the major thematic relevance of horses within the novel and within Victorian society at large. This (Hardy 228).This sentiment of love in connection to the image of the horse applies also to the character of Alec when he is reintroduced into the plot with his sudden appearance in the remote farm town. Immediately prior to the scene in which Alec you ing up the cleared ground for a spring picture w hat might have been the result if she had been free to accept the offer just made her of being

PAGE 34

30 image of the horse reaffirms the thematic association t o both romance and class the symbol of the horse connotes within Victorian literature. While the subtle mention of the horse in this scene may initially appear extraneous, a closer evaluation of the thematic intricacies at work within the novel reveals the connection between the image of the horse and themes of both love and social class. While the role of equine imagery in indicating themes of love and romance in Tess of the continues the tradition of earlier 19 th century English fiction, Ha rdy contributes to the development of equestrian symbolism beyond this foundation by applying the image of the horse as a symbol of downfall and an image of the decline of English nobility. For Hardy, the image of the horse is central to the novel as a met aphor for Tess herself and a foreshadowing of her tragic downfall. One of the early scenes of something terrib le had happened. The harness was entangled with an object which blocked the cart had driven into her slow and unlighted equipage. The pointed shaft of the cart had entered in a stream, and falling with a hiss into the road. he was already dead. (Hardy 22) ests the weight of the scene within the novel and prophe Thomas Hardy 97). The death of Prince is not only a foreshadowing of the ultimate downfall of Tess, but also the cause of her of the

PAGE 35

31 horse also points to the ultimate cause of her struggles: a threat to Victorian England at large, namely the decline of atrophy of English integrity in social class. Just as Victorian England is subject to the changing social dynamics of its time, so described in terms of economics when, after his death, economic advant subsequently expects from Tess the same economic production they received from Prince, but the death of the carthorse has profound impacts for Tess on an individual le vel. guard the purity of her unspoiled character. The image of the horse is again employed as a means of foreshadowing unfortunate events through the lege front that his hoofs were almost upon the nter suppose? this sound of a non existent it is held to be of ill he symbol of

PAGE 36

32 simultaneously indicates to his reader the underlying significance of horses as symbols within literature more broadly. In connection to the larger l equine symbol contributes to an enhancement of the role of horses within novels. By applying the image mu ltifaceted allusion than the simple indicator of romantic themes the horse suggested in 18 th century novels. Like in The Mill on the Floss the symbol of the horse as a standard indicator of romantic undertones and forewarning is transformed into a far rea ching image concerning themes of class and economics in From the start of the novel, the symbol of the horse serves as an met by an elderly parson astride on a grey mare, who, as he rode, hummed a wandering tune. itiates a dramatic change in Mr. Durbeyfield, and Durbeyfiel d is staged afoot to indicate his poverty while the parson is placed on horseback as he heralds scene are meant as an immediate indicator of his chang e in status. However, Hardy utilizes the image of the carriage as a satirical criticism against aristocracy. While John Durbeyfield may have the carriage to indicate his upper class kinship, he does nothing to live up to his name or his status. In this, Mr Durbeyfield represents the shallowness behind the aristocratic class. The symbol of the coach continues to symbolically indicate class as in a later scene in the novel,

PAGE 37

33 advantage of having a wealt hy relative with passionate affection and intention to marry. Her intention in 21). Th rough this comment, the association between horses and economic status, common to the Victorian culture, is transformed into a satirical society, the author applies the image of the horse in more creative ways than a mere one for one status symbol in order to instigate deeper consideration of the socioeconomic changes at work within Victorian society. Similarly, Hardy demonstrates the complex interconnectivi ty between romance and finance an indicator of passionate love and disposable wealth; rather, it becomes an indicator of dissipation and incongruence between their aristocratic title and their incapac ity for upholding noble standards, but for economic security an d gained access to more independent means of accrual. By noting the suitor, Alec, the author reflects how the image of the horse has been socially con structed to denote the corruption of the landed gentry and the untrustworthiness of marriage as a means of economic transforms the commonplace symbol of the ho rse from a mere indicator of passionate love to a complex

PAGE 38

34 and multifaceted referent that provides insight into the various anxieties of the changing Victorian society. To augment the notion that Tess is victim to the unfortunate demise of aristocratic dec line in and involved in relational pursuit. John Halloway reads into this underlying connection at play within Tess of by revealing how the nove l can be grasped through a single metaphor. It is not the taming of an animal. Rather it is the h her. At the end, it is especially clear. When the hunt is over, Tess is captured on the sacrificial stone at Stonehenge. (277) This analysis of the novel reveals how the socially constructed symbol of horse plays off the already multidimensional roles o f the horse. The horse, central to the sport hunting, plays a crucial role in building the analogy between a hunter in pursuit of his prey and the aristocratic lover seeking his beloved. This connection between horse and sport is continued throughout liter ary progression by later authors of the Victorian era. This thematic connection provides an example of the broader application of equestrian symbolism in conversations of themes like sport and gambling. The broader applications of the horse in both Tess o and The Mill on the Floss provide early examples of how writers within the Victorian era played with and built upon the basic connection between the image of the horse and the theme of romance established within the literature of turn o f the 19 th century society. A reevaluation of the economic implications of love was not the only transformation to occur to the symbol of the horse in Victorian literature however. Later authors within Victorian literature further adapt this symbol for dis cussion on even more topics. Taking a Gambol: Horses and Sport Adding to the alteration of the symbol of the horse, Victorian authors like George Moore and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle additionally contributed to the reworking of equestrian symbolism. By applyi ng the image of the horse in reference to not only themes of romantic propriety or economic prosperity, but

PAGE 39

35 also to themes of sport and leisure through the discussion of gambling and horseracing, later Victorian authors further expanded the symbolic implic ations of the horse to broader subjects. Because of the prominence of horseracing within Victorian society, the theme makes its way into more popular writings, including the great detective fiction of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The prolific writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was most famous for his Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, featuring the eponymous sleuth of murder mysteries. Doyle demonstrates the significance of the horse as a symbol in Victorian society by devoting an entire short story to the investigation of the disappearance of a horse race favorite and the murder of its trainer in the account that derives its name from the feature equine, Silver Blaze but one problem before the public which could challenge his powers of analysis, and that was the 255). Yet, the image of the horse is elemental to the story beyond the mere mention of the missing steed. In Silver Blaze the various allusions to horses serve as subtle clues to help the attentive reader pastimes, revealing V demonstrated in the contrast between horse and train, and testing the limits of standard character ommon knowledge of horses, characteristic of the Victorian era, to explore the multitudinous applications of the commonplace animal in a literary setting. complex not believe it possible that the most remarkable horse in England could long remain concealed, multivalent connotations hidden behind the literary image of the horse. The centrality of the symbol to

PAGE 40

36 sentiments about horses and their role in a volatile society of industry prevalent in the surrounding the equine symbol in a variety of situations represents a variety of social apprehensions of the time. Doyle stages his equestrian tale within the demonst rate how, with the age of the iron horse comes newly emerging anxieties surrounding social accessibility and gender dynamics, and an increasing distain for aristocracy. Doyle demonstrates the centrality of the horse image to his short story through litera ry devices and allusion to widespread knowledge of horses, characteristic of his Victorian reader. In various instances, the author subtly conveys the importance of the equine to his story through the use of horse related pun. In one example, upon hearing like characteristics. As a precursor the story overall and foreshadows very gregarious familiarity with horses and their n was a real, fabulously successful racehorse in the 1870s who sired other succe

PAGE 41

37 Doyle (publishing without such footnotes) demonstrates the importance of the horse in Victorian society suggest the continued fa miliarity with horses, characteristic of the Victorian era; reversely, he uses this information to tip off his equestrian aware Victorian reader to the importance and multivalence of the horse in his text and in Victorian literature in general. In its multifaceted application of the symbol of the horse, Silver Blaze does not overlook the more commonplace allusion to romance. By the end of the mystery, the audience learns that illicit romance was a contributing factor behind the unfortunate events and keeping a second establishment. The nature of the bill showed that there was a lady in the case, and one w throughout the short story to posit the horse as a symbol o f warning against licentiousness and equestrian symbolism, Doyle takes the image of the horse t o a new level of connotation. Following the trend of preceding novels, Silver Blaze challenges the notion that equestrian symbolism in literature be limited strictly to feminine symbolism in precautionary tales concerning relationships of love. Silver Bla ze investigation of associations with the horse in the venue of horseracing and gambling (Do rr 4). The themes of wealth and class are brought into play in the murder mystery through the explicatory

PAGE 42

38 value being the driving force to motivate the solving of the case, the symbol of the horse functions as a commentary on both aristocratic horse owners and the gamblers who bet on them. The multifaceted symbolism of the horse is further developed within th e text through the tension between train and horse subtly planted throughout the composition. The dichotomy between horse and train is central to one particular instance of conversation between Watson and Sherlock: distinction between horse and train. Upon first glance, it appears as though Sherlock (and therefore the author associated with this relatable and respectable character) casts his allegiances in favor of the locomotive, but the text later reveals his seeming abandonment of the mystery of the racehorse is because he has already solved the case. T l faculties (Doyle but also reflects the Victorian anxieties surrounding modernization and urbanization as a result of the Industrial Revolution. The s pread of locomotive transportation corresponded with significant change in social ideologies within Victorian England. As a highly accessible means of conveyance, providing open access to a vast number of individuals representing a variety of economic clas ses, the iron horse represented newly emerging ideals of egalitarianism and the promotion of middle class ideologies in place of aristocratic stratification.

PAGE 43

39 f eaturing and transforming the horse as a central image in literature. After a labyrinth of clues and solution to the mystery, and the eponymous figure of the short story, the horse becomes the major character of the composition. Additionally, by ascribing the human like characteristics of guilt or innocence to the horse, the horse becomes more than a symbol in the short story; he becomes a character on almost equal footing with human characters. democratization over aristo cratic stratification. Straker, as an image of the landed gentry, follows the pattern of Victorian literature in being a philanderer and debaucher. Yet, his ultimate death reflects the decline of nobility in Victorian England. This wane of aristocratic nob ility is cleverly reflected in the ironic event of Straker being killed by his own horse. The image of aristocratic decadence is the agent of the the significance of equestrian symbolism within the canon of Victorian literature. Within the brief text, the horse functions not only as an integral character, but also as a complex indicator of Victorian ideologies surrounding passionate romance, social class, and the rise of locomotive transportation. Additionally, the text proves uniquely trendsetting in making horseracing central to the plot and setting in a work of literature. The novel Esther Waters by George Moore picks up where Silver Blaze leaves off in advancing the cause of literary equestrian symbolism. As a novel about the English horseracing scene, the image of the horse is indispensible to the plot of Esther Waters. Stephen Regan, in his introduction to the novel notes that, s of

PAGE 44

40 (Moore x). The centrality of the image of the horse plays out even in the finite details interwoven in the hometown contributes to the development of equine s importance of the housing structure. In her origin, therefore, Esther is paralleled with the horses that dwell in barn toward themes of romance, and the economic and moral implications of horseracing and betting. The application of equestrian symbolism within the n ovel, Esther Waters, continues to build on the foundation set by earlier 19 th century novels conflating the image of the horse and themes of imprudent romance. The association between horses and love is established throughout the text through various allus ions to general instances of love in association with the image of the horse. Early in the text, as a way of introducing Esther to her type of work and peer group, Sarah comments of a as a symbolic indicator of profligacy and immorality. Additionally, the novel establishes an association t see the shy figure of the Puritan description, the femme fatale not only appears in association with the horse, but also is the very cause of the horse, exer cising agency over the animal by hastening its hooves. Her influence and association novel thus instills the image of the horse with themes of romance and love. Likewise, the text explores

PAGE 45

41 succession to keeping a trap and horses. While the text reveals the correlation between horses and the theme of love through general examples like these, it also does so in direct relation to the eponymous character, Esther. The plot development surrounding Esther Wa ters is riddled with horse references, not only aptitude for attracting dissolute lovers. As a young, innocent, unassuming country girl entering her po sition as a servant, Esther is unaware of the dissipation associated with horses and the illicit actions they symbolize. Esther demonstrates her innocence in these matters by confusing the racehorses on her maidservants functions to connect Esther Waters to the canonical works of Jane Austen through the equestrian symbolism in which carriages connote rightly ordered love and horseback riding (elevated in this case to horseracing) suggests a romance characterized by imprudent passion unchecked by reason. Yet, Esther is soon stripped of her unassuming inno cence and through the influence of her equine surroundings, she begins to feel the fleeting whims of passion driven love. The text reveals of Esther, horses were always going to or coming from t he downs. Esther often longed for a romp with these boys; she was now a prime favorite with them 31). The increased activity of the racehorses in this scene parallels the s well of passionate sentiment between the correlates with her increasing desire, and she ultimately falls to the encroaching sexual temptations suggested in the pre valence of horses in her immediate surroundings. Esther falls in love with William

PAGE 46

42 Latch, a prospective stable boy obsessed with gambling whose mother works with Esther. One night the race, William seduces and position at the estate and r eturn to her small home to seek employment. Throughout the middle section of the novel, as Esther migrates from one low paying position to another after leaving the horse breeding estate, there is little mention of horses at all; this absence of equestria one. She declined an offer of marriage, and was rarely persuaded into a promise to walk out with to Fred, a pious churchgoer, the horse remains relatively absent from the text. As their love escalates, some minor references to horses dapple the text; yet, the two continue to rely primarily on pedestrian rather than equestrian forms of transportation. The absence of equine symbolism from this section of the novel reflects the absence of By contrast, the frequency and explicitness of the equine symbol returns when William reenters the plot. a four wheeler through the loose heavy gravel that had just been laid down. So absorbed was she in her pity for the poor animal that she did not see the gaun t, broad shouldered man coming towards her. on driven romance resurfaces in the plot, so too does the symbol of the horse appear more frequently throughout the text. In the scene following, William discloses to Esther

PAGE 47

43 rebuttal, Esther uses the symbol of the horse as a parallel to indicate her own state in life as a resul t of dialogue about themes of duty versus the hedonistic pleasures of extramarital desire. In another t oward William between romantic fantasy and the image of the horse continues in a later scene when Ester spends the duration of a carriage ride contemplating the hypotheti cal of her marriage to William. The novel relates, the carriage ride ignites in Esther thoughts of her love for William builds on foundations of earlier literary carriage rides laced with romantic innuendo. However, romance is not the only theme bound to is romance and excitement to be found in horseracing, but the novel repeatedly exposes the exploitive nature of the sport and obliquely aligns it withi n the novel, it equally serves to further the development of themes related to the debate about social class and the sport of horseracing. In addition to exploring themes of love, Esther Waters continues the legacy of employing equestrian symbolism to exp lore newly emerging ideologies of Victorian England at the turn of the 20 th century like the surfacing of ideas regarding the New Woman and the increasingly democratic access to t of horse racing assumed a major significance [in Esther Waters ], both as an immensely colourful source of narrative incident and as a perfect metaphor with which to illustrate the ruthlessly competitive nature of Victorian class

PAGE 48

44 gh the metaphoric implications of the image of horseracing, and the corresponding portrayal of the poverty stricken lower class men who rely on gambling for a chance at wealth, Moore employs equestrian symbolism to initiate conversation about important iss ues of class horses and wealth, and adapts the the me to suit his unique agenda of addressing the issue of gambling. With the central image of racehorses in the novel comes the correlating theme of betting and on Waters coincided with a broader debate about the morality of horseracing and gambling. In Esther Waters, horseracing has a powerful appeal, an (Moore xi). Thus, Esther Waters is concerned with exploring themes of gambling and the risk of downfall it involves. The text more explicitly references the negative consequences of betting through character dialogue with Esther. Even those directly involved with horseracing disapprove of the costs of the sport, place is poisoned with it. A great deal of harm do come from this betting on race 75). This sentiment is repeated later in the text with the complaint that racing all they think about the evening papers, and the latest information. Every day we hear of some new misfortune a home broken up, the mother in the workhouse, the daughter on the streets, the father in prison, and all on account of this betting. (Moor e 250) Through these various instances of dialogue, Moore addresses the complex issue of betting and gambling brought about with the prominence of horseback racing. In this, the image of the horse is inevitably linked with the negative consequences of imp ropriety. Esther herself is not exempt from these negative consequences, and suffers significantly throughout the text for her association with the

PAGE 49

45 simi larly reflects the genre of cautionary tales used to warn women against unchecked love. In a similar tragic manner, Esther ultimately ends up right back where she began, indicated by the repetition of the ownfall reflects the inevitable emptiness of fleeting pleasures as a means of cautioning the reader against participation in lecherous undertakings. Throughout the novel, the image of the horse is associated with themes of impropriety and debauchery. When Esther eventually ends up marrying William, who continues his business of gambling on the horse races, he decides to take Esther and their two mutual friends, Bill Evans and Sarah, to the racecourse. While there, Esther encounters her pious previous lover, racecourses as shame ful places where men were led to their ruin, and betting she had always the texts convey an understanding of the interrelatedness between the image o f the horse, the sport of horseracing, and moral wantonness. The scenes including a high density of horses demonstrate a general reflection of this association between the horse and impropriety. The scene of the racetrack in particular exhibits the intempe rate atmosphere surrounding equine sport. Moore describes the scene of the horse races with baked Downs strewn with waste paper and 234). Just as the image of the horse within Victorian literature is laden with a variety of thematic connotations, so too does the setting of the horse races support a variety of improper activities from wanton gambling to drunken carousing to lewd sexual promiscuity. The declaration of these offenses is parting drink. A horse, with its fore legs clothed in a pa

PAGE 50

46 sexually suggestive name underscores the interconnectivity between the sport of horseracing and illicit T he parallel between horses and improper behavior is explicitly addressed in the description that ree fold parallelism reaffirms the association between horse, drunkard, and philanderer. This issue of immorality in association with horses extends even to those humans who care for the racehorses The novel reveals that at Woodview horse breeding estate, the pantry because their constant intimate proximity with horses (the symbol of salaciousness) renders them rude and undis association between the symbol of the horse and themes of lechery. However, the image of the horse raises discussion not only about issues of morality, but also questions of mode rnity. Yet, while the novel employs the image of the horse in a similar manner as its literary predecessors in connection to themes of love and social class, Esther Waters simultaneously demonstrates a drastic ideological shift within society. While the he many ways dependent upon their male counterparts for social and economic stability, the gender roles son, and her sickl y husband). Additionally, Esther is characterized as a working woman in every stage of society: namely the rise of the New Woman. This contributes to themes of modernity. From the opening lines of the novel, the author demonstrates his interest in the contrasting themes of modernity and tradition through the respective images of locomotive and equine

PAGE 51

47 transportation the author paints the image of the main character at a major cr ossroads in her life: deciding between the rural and the urban, the modern and the romantic, the independence (yet poverty) of a self made woman or the dependence (yet security) of a married one. This theme resurfaces later in the novel train and trap, the novel captures the excitements and anxieties of V ictorian society surrounding the newly emerging technology and the implications of the iron horse. This allusion to locomotive transportation recalls the work of Silver Blaze in deliberating the significant changes to society that came with the technologie s of the modern age. These changes can be traced, however subtly, through the Mill on the Floss Esther Waters These various literary examples also h elp to point out a major differentiating factor between equestrian symbolism of the Victorian era and earlier uses of the symbol: namely, the prevalence of the image of the horse in characteristically tragic plots. While turn of the century authors relied on in which horses are featured are predominantly tragic. Literary critic, Elise Michie, notes that in the latter half of the 19th century the hors e ceased to be a comfortable emblem of the pleasures of dominance and became instead a locus for articulating anxieties about force, individuals, and emotions that threatened to break free from the subordinate positions traditionally allotted to them and establish empires of their own (164) This pessimistic turn for the symbol of the horse is reflected in the cataclysmic endings of the various novels that feature horses. Equine imagery throughout Victorian literature serves to foreshadow so many woe ful ends: the rising floodwaters that drowned Maggie Tulliver, the execution of Tess Durbeyfield, the death of Straker, the cyclical destitution of Esther Waters. However, while in Victorian

PAGE 52

48 literature the symbol of the horse may have become a subtle indic ator of a dreary ending, equestrian symbolism in Victorian society at large became associated with advertisements of pleasurable diversions Multimedia Mares: Horses in Film and Photography In addition to the influence equestrian symbolism held within Victorian literature, the symbol of the horse played a significant role in the rhetoric of newly emerging forms of discourse. Particularly, the underlying connotation of the symbol of the horse, established through the Victorian literary canon, considerably influenced the narrative expression being developed in media like photography and film. was employed by virtually every visual and literary genre in the nineteenth century, interfacing with the culture through a complex of signifying practices, both to support and disrupt ideologies of gender and the symbol within the culture of Victorian society is demonstrated particularly in the photography and film of the era. One instance of the application of equestrian symbolism in Victorian photography can be seen in the 1867 photograph advertisement for a (Figure 2). In the advertisement, the full body profile of a performer in the characteristically venereal performance is pictured in full costume as a majestic white horse. A realistic horse head is p erched atop bustled mini skirt. The copious strands of pearls worn around her bare arms and hose covered legs creates the illusion of horse hooves as the call girl poses in a position meant to indic ate prancing or rearing. Despite the fact that this particular image promotes a stage production in New York, the American artifact closely reflects the evolution of equestrian symbolism within Victorian English society. Within the image, the selection of the equine character as a representative for the show overall, hinges upon the socially pre established association between the image of the horse and dissipation. The power of the equine image to suggest such

PAGE 53

49 intricate innuendoes is the result of widespre ad reinforcement of such a connection within Victorian society (in a large part thanks to literature and the arts). The assumed associations between equestrian 1860s, 73). The double meaning. Through the Victorian association between the image of the horse and themes of licentiousness, the advertisement is able to communicate the licentious intentions at the core of the burlesque per formance through the simple image of the scantily clad mare with the aid of very minimal supplemental text. However, the equestrian symbolism behind the image also reflects the spread of middle class ideologies within Victorian society. While the poster gi rl of the burlesque show represents sexual lasciviousness, she also indicates the rising social acceptance of female occupation. Tracy Davis explains the rising acceptability of women in professions (and particularly women in the profession of acting) by middle the Victorian age were scorned as the lowest members of society, the idea of women in the working class became increasingly acceptable in the Victorian era. Thus, the image of the horse in Victorian humanities functions as much more than a mere indicator o f passionate romance; throughout the arts of the era, the symbol is transformed to represent the changing ideologies surrounding the accessibility to economic independence for females. While the image of the horse functions as a measure of the changing per spectives of Victorian society regarding women in the work force, horses in visual media of the era also reveal the growing awareness of gender dynamics.

PAGE 54

50 The theme of gender relations as it plays out through the image of the horse is central to the medium of cinematography. Through the adoption and transposition of such literary symbols, the newly developing medium of photography acquired a foundation for nuanced communication in image. This presence of suggestive subtleties is present in the original moti on picture as well. In her essay, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema Laura Mulvey comments on the patriarchal ideology behind Hollywood patriarchal order filmic art form; from its conception, film and male sexual dominance have been inextricably linked. Sallie Gardner at a Gallop, in history, demonstrates the inextricable link between themes of sexuality and patriarchal dominance and cinematic production through the subtle undertones and social connotations at play behind the short film (Figure 3). To understand these undertones of gender and sexuality at play within the film, it is important to note the association between the symbol of the horse and feminine sexuality prevalent throughout Victorian literature and culture suggested throughout the earlier part of this essay. With st rict censorship guidelines for literary publication in the Victorian era, the image of the horse provided authors and artists a symbolic innuendo to discuss romantic behaviors. In her article Horses and Sexual/Social Dominance in the novelistic portraits of the men who desire [the leading 156). From this literary and artistic tradition, the image of the horse (especially in art ) became branded with the implications of double entendre. With such an association agreed upon, a feminist reading of the film recognizes Sallie Gardner as a reinforcement of the male dominant patriarchal values of Victorian society and the Victorian lite rary association between the image of the horse and the theme of sexuality.

PAGE 55

51 Of preliminary importance to this interpretation of the sexual implicit quality of Sallie Gardner is ridge, the film follows the tradition of male dominant artistic production. Additionally, the two characters at work within the film are the male jockey, Domm, and the Thoroughbred mare, Sallie Gardner. The clear gender binary places the horse in the typic al female role within the narrative. Sallie Gardner both are true. Through cultural and literary tradition, the woman has become obscured to the point of being symbolically represented as a horse. Yet, the female horse depicted, standing as a representation of the female generally, auty. This idea of the woman as an object of beauty relates closely to what Mulvey calls fetishistic scopophilia. Sallie Gardner the mar e becomes the substitutive fetish object. This fact is ming), and sexualized (she is not galloping alone but runs underneath, and between the legs of, her male rider). This sexualization of Sallie is a result of the the human of the image of the horse. Gina M. Dorr ody and beauty [were considered] so overtly striking that they must Sallie Gardner is no exception to the

PAGE 56

52 propagation of this Victorian notion. Not only does Sallie as an image of woman adhe re to the fetishistic objectification of the female in cinema, the mare potentially also exhibits the increasing awareness of the subordination of women within the traditionally patriarchic society of 19 th century England. Through the lens of feminist critique, Sallie Gardner becomes another example of the latent association within Victorian culture between the image of the horse and themes of sexuality. Central to feminist thought is the notion of the subj ection and confinement of women. Gilbert and Gubar express this idea of feminine confinement within patriarchal society in relation to by a man, s (Gilbert 1542). The house, being a common image in relation to the woman, can easily be replaced by its near woman, the viewer of Sallie Gardner is reaffirmed of the patriarchal social codes surrounding gender relations. T film in history, as, undeniably, the hand in hand with the cinematic valorization of the male protagonist in film, a standard demonstrated in Sallie Gard ner as well. Equally important to the role of women in film within cinematic feminist theory is the role of is certainly true of Domm who literally commands the mare with bridle and stirrup. Additionally, the very presence of Domm as a member of the cast reaffirms rms

PAGE 57

53 the dominance of the male and establishes the jockey (rather than the horse) as the legitimately active and accomplished member of the duo by suggesting the horse would not have galloped, or flown, without his aid. In this regard, the film adheres to t at split in 1179). While the heroic male jockey works and upholds his position of power over the animal, the horse r emains merely an object of aesthetic beauty and fascination. This aesthetic value of the horse serves to be looked at notions of female as object of beauty, in connection with the understanding of male activity and supremacy as an undercurrent to the film relate to the connection between feminism and post colonialism highlighted by the interchangeability of woman with horse. The connection between imperial dominance and pat riarchy is addressed by Cixous with the (1645). The idea that woman originates outside of culture demonstrates the connection between colonialism and a mascul ine dominant society (and reversely demonstrates the connection between and female dominated empire and its surrounding Thus, in light of male dominant ideologies latent in Western culture, the connection between woman and beast (in this instance, woman and horse) reinforces gendered behavior codes of patriarchal society. The implications of structuralism on feminist theory are also central to a feminist understanding of li

PAGE 58

54 of woman as a signifier continuously referring back to arbitrary nature, the signifier can be replaced by any other signifier just as the woman can be replaced by any other object (in this instance, a horse). The film Sallie Gardner therefore takes the view that through second order signification (using the horse as a signifier of woman) (Mulvey 1173). Thus, Sallie Gardner can be read as a mythology of patriarchal social values of Victorian society. Through the lens of feminist critique, the film of Sallie Gardner at a Gallop becomes a work Gilbert and Gubar would ag undertones of male dominant gender roles run as a subtle undercurrent through out the entire short reveals and even plays on the straight socially established interpretations of sexual difference which controls images, erotic way inventor of cinematic patriarchy, but that male dominant codes underpinned cinema from its very conception (Mulvey 1172). These multimedia examples demonstrate not only that Victorian culture was saturated with equestrian symbolism, but also that the image of the horse within Victorian society held incredible commonplace facet of Vict orian society due to its common use as a means of transportation, the image functions as a symbolic indicator of more subtle themes like passionate romance, economics, sport, and gender relations while reflecting the many historic influences at work within the culture. As Gina Dorr has commented, industrialism and technology; constructions of masculinity, femininity, and sexuality; ruptures in

PAGE 59

55 the social fabric caused by cl ass conflict and mobility; the crisis of aesthetics amid a culture of mass production and consumption; and the heady but uncertain energies of national progress and imperial expansion. [This] evocative trope functions as a repository of desire and de spair (6) While the image of the horse is often overlooked as commonplace and meaningless within Victorian literature, the richness of its symbolic implicat ions renders it a subject worthy of critical consideration. Throughout the literature and media of the Victorian era, the image of the horse functions not only as an indicator of wealth and passionate romance, but also reflects the changing ideologies of t he highly disposition and a reflection of the innovations of our modern age, the horse in Victorian humanities stood for much more than a means of transportati on.

PAGE 60

56 WORKS CITED Austen, Jane. Emma 2001 Modern Library Classics ed. New York: Modern Library, 2001. Print. Austen, Jane. Mansfield Park Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1996. Print. Austen, Jane, and Carol Howard. Pride and Prejudice Barnes and Noble Classic ed. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 2003. Print. Austen, Jane, and Laura Engel. Sense and Sensibility Barnes and Noble Classic ed. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2003. Print. Bloom, Harold. Research and Study Guide Broomall, PA: Chelsea House Publishers, 2003. Print. Boumelha, Penny. Tomas Hardy and Women: Sexual Ideology and Narrative Form Totowa, NJ: Barnes and Noble Press, 1982. Print. Perspectives on Hardy. Ed. Margaret R. Higgonet. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1993. Print. Cixous The Critical Tradition: Classic T exts and Contemporary Trends Ed. David H. Richter. Boston: Bedford, 1998. Print. Danahay, Martin A. Nature Red in Hoof and Paw: Domestic Animals and Violence in Victorian Art. Victorian Animal Dreams: Representations of Animals in Victorian Literature and Culture. Ed. Deborah Denenholz Morse and Martin A. Danahay. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007. Web. 26 April 2016. Davis, Tracy C. Actresses as Working Women: Their Social Identity in Victorian Culture Theatre and Gender Series. New York, NY: Routledg e, 1991. Print. Dickens, Charles, and Fred Kaplan. Hard Times: An Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism 3rd ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2001. Print. Dorre, Gina M. Victorian Fiction and the Cult of the Horse Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2006. Print. Doyle, Arthur Conan, and John Berendt. "Silver Blaze." The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes New York: Modern Library, 2002. Print. Eliot, George, and Carol T. Christ. The Mill on the Floss: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, and Garcia Landa, Jose Angel. The Chains of Semiosis: Semiotics, Marxism, and the Female Stereotypes in Maunder. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan, 2002. Print.

PAGE 61

57 Gilbert, S The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends Ed. David H. Richter. Boston: Bedford, 1998. Print. Hardy, Thomas, and Scott Elledge. Tess of the D'Urbervilles: An Authoritative Text with Criticism 3rd Ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 1991. Print. Kumar. New York, NY: New York University Press, 1969. Print. James, Louis. The Victorian Nove l Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2006. Print. Mansfield Park Approaches to Teaching Mansfield Park Eds. Folsom, Marcia McClintock, and John Wiltshire. Ne w York: Modern Language Association, 2014. p. 83 90. Print. Michie, Elise B. Horses and Sexual/Social Dominance. Victorian Animal Dreams: Representations of Animals in Victorian Literature and Culture. Ed. Deborah Denenholz Morse and Martin A. Danahay. B urlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007. Web. 26 April 2016. Miller, J. Hillis. Thomas Hardy: Distance and Desire. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1970. Print. Moore, George. Esther Waters London: Oxford UP, 1964. Print. Mulvey, Laura. The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends Ed. David H. Richter. Boston: Bedford, 1998. Print. All Things Austen: A Concise Encyclopedia of Austen's World Vol. 1 (A L). Oxford: Greenwood World Pub., 2008. Print. Young, R. J. "Postcolonial Remains." New Literary History 43.1 (2012): 19 42. Project MUSE Web. 26 April 2016. .

PAGE 62

58 APPENDIX Figure 1 http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details/collection_image_ gallery.aspx?assetId=965894001&objectId=3025557&partId=1

PAGE 63

59 Figure 1.2 An Enquiry after Stretchit in Gloucestershire or Maritime Museum, unknown 1800 1810. http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/138542.html

PAGE 64

60 1900.

PAGE 65

61 Figure 3 Muybridge, Eadweard. Sallie Gardner at a Gallop. 1878.