Archaic lore in modern stories

Archaic lore in modern stories

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Archaic lore in modern stories.

In the story ”The Dead” by James Joyce has signified, deepened and mythologized by her careful consideration of ancient myths, significance dates, traditions, and allusions from the past. The technique is deliberately used to incorporate old lore to signify a modern way. In the story “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter’’ by D.H Lawrence depicts departing individuals from their current state of life. Lawrence gives little information regarding their life as a Horse Dealer family at Oldmeadow where the story explores transition, loss, and change as the central themes.

In the story “The Dead,” Joyce uses archaic lore from three different traditions which are put in a way that they structure the story as well as signifying the story. Traditions used include the Christian tradition. The date of the story is January 6, which is the feast of the Epiphany. The feast of epiphany is portrayed to celebrate the awe-full experience of the magi as well as carrying the themes of life-changing awareness, the dead of those who are old as well as the birth of the new.Also after seeing the reality behind the surface. Also, the angel Gabriel is more connected to the event in the Christian tradition. As portrayed in the story, on the twelfth night which was the beginning of the carnival season is connected to an array of themes. The selection of the fool of carnival portrays the idea of masks, alternative identities and masquerade which is a celebration as the prelude to a dark and somber time. ( Kelleher, J. V. (1965)

Furthermore, in The Dead, Joyce portrays Irish lore which includes music and myth. The traditional song “the old Irish tonality” is based on a music story which is much older than the tempered scales of the typical practice period. In the story, the lass of Aughrim is significant in its contrast to the rest of the music. It is as well substantial for its intense personal connection to Gretta. ‘‘Da Derga’s Hostel’’ is one of the most significance tales from the Irish mythological cycle. It concerns with the fated and karmic death of the king Conaire. In the myth, Conaire is given a warning that in case he broke any of the proscriptions placed in him without regarding whether he breaks them deliberately or he breaks them accidentally, the forces of the universe will align against him when he cuts, and Conaire will be sent to the realm of the dead.

Moreover, the story “The Dead” portrays the Greco-Roman triple Goddesses. The most important aspect of the archaic lore in the story is the appearance of the Greco-Roman Triple who is a guest. The story has invested the trios on the females where their characteristics and their powers are ascribed to the triple Goddesses in the Greco-Roman tradition. The most significant three manifestations where the three graces which are known as the Greek Mythology as the “Charites” are Algeria which means splendor, Euphrosyne which implies festivity also Thalia which means rejoicing. According to the Greek myth, the graces were associated with parting, festivity as well as having fun. In the story, the three manifestations are portrayed as something which has a parody.

In the story “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” by D.H Lawrence is a controversial work that explores human nature in a way that it explicit sexual descriptions as well as intense physical dialogue. The story reflects the profound experiences experienced by Lawrence of growing in a radical and industrial England. The first world war had as well a significant repercussion on Lawrence where much of his work he uses a continuous symbolic cycle of life as well as death to show how new life can be given to persons as well as societies of the verge of despair. In the story, Lawrence is much specific on the redemption of traditional English culture through a love relationship amongst the town doctor and a girl whom he rescues from committing suicide. Lawrence abandons the romantic style which such a story would much embrace by illuminating the much conflicting emotions of the two characters. Lawrence suggests that the much want to be felt by both the participants who needed to be loved drives their actions by much extent in the story. He argues that the universal need beloved as many times confused when their emotions and expectations collided. In contrast, when the feelings are reconciled and solved in this world, the female assumes the dominant role as well as expresses her desire for love. On the other hand, the male submissively fulfills the female’s want of love expectations.

In the story, Lawrence portrays the theme of doubt, reliance, connection, security, escape as well as desperation. At the beginning of the story, the narrator reveals the uncertainty as a theme where Mabel who 27 years old in a family of four was unaware that her father was dead. Her life remains in doubt even after her brothers organizing their lives after their father’s death. Also, the theme of connection is portrayed in the story. Mabel tends to move to her mother’s grave in which the reader gets a sense of the relationship between the mother and Mabel. Mabel is seen cleaning her mother’s grave suggesting a secure connection between them. (Lawrence, D. H. (2015).

Furthermore, there is also symbolism which is essential to the story. Lawrence argues the water in the pond as dead and Mabel want to drown herself in it is a symbol that Lawrence is using to symbolize death. In addition to using symbolism, Lawrence uses a lot of animal imagery in the story “The Horse Dealer’s Daughter” particularly when describing Mabel’s mother. Joe in the story watches the draught horses as they were led out in the yard by a groom and felt like the horses are almost like his own body. The act of comparing the horse to the body of Joe as well as having them led by the groom and following him suggests that Joe as well will end up following someone. In that connection, Joe is marrying a woman whose father will be able to look after him.

At the end of the story, Mabel marries Jack most likely not out of love but rather to escape from the possibility of poverty that had stricken her life after the death of her father. This is in that there is no point in the story when Mabel tells Jack that he loves him but instead wanted a security of her life. The pattern used in archaic lore is a traditional pattern in which both stories sited in a conventional point of view. Lawrence in his story reveals how females were traditionally seen as powerless especially in love. Mabel gets married to Jack by not considering love but just to have the security of life. In the story, ‘The Dead” by Joyce reveals Christian tradition where there was the Feast of Epiphany which is celebrated regarding the awe-full experience of the Magi.

The archaic lore in both stories aids in installing knowledge to the reader as well as experience. Also, archaic lore enables the readers to understand the story more and also predict what will happen next in the story.


Lawrence, D. H. (2015). The Horse-Dealer’s Daughter. Booklassic.

Junkins, D. (1969). DH Lawrence’s” The Horse Dealer’s Daughter”. Studies in Short Fiction, 6(2), 210.

Kelleher, J. V. (1965). Irish History and Mythology in James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’. The Review of Politics, 27(3), 414-433.

Kelleher, John V. “Irish History and Mythology in James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’.” The Review of Politics 27, no. 3 (1965): 414-433.