Plot Summary: the Rocking Horse Winner

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The Rocking Horse Winner by D.H.Lawrence

The story, set in England is told to us by an omniscient narrator. We learn of Hester, a beautiful woman who , despite starting with all the advantages, had no luck. Hester had married for love, but that “turned to dust”, she also had three beautiful children. We are told that she is incapable of loving her children, or anyone else. It bothers her that she feels this way towards her children and she make effort to show extra care and worry towards them, and while everyone thinks she is a wonderful mother, she and her children know the truth. They know it by looking into each other’s eyes. Hester has a young boy named Paul, who is the eldest, and two girls , one of them named Joan. They all lived in a nice house, with a garden, and servants and saw themselves as superior to anyone in their neighborhood. However, though they lived in style and maintained an elevated social position, Hester and her husband both had but small incomes. Their incomes did not provide enough money .This created an overwhelming sense of anxiety in the house, a “grinding” sense of the shortage of money. Though, despite the lack of money, they always kept up their style. Hester worried endlessly about money and the lack of it. Both she and her husband had expensive tastes, and she also worried about things like how she would send her growing children to school. Ester, seeing that her handsome husband was not very successful , tried her go of it . Although she greatly believed in herself, she too, was not very successful. These failures weighed on her and “caused deep lines “ to come on her face. The house becomes haunted with unspoken words: There must be more money! There must be more money! No one actually says these words, yet the children hear it all the time. They hear it at Christmas, when wonderful and expensive toys filled the nursery. They heard it behind the shiny rocking horse and behind the doll house, the voice that would whisper There must be more money! . This would cause the children to pause and listen for a moment. They would look to each other to see if they had all heard, and would see in each other’s eyes that they had. Even the toys seemed to hear the whisper all over the house. No one ever said it out loud, but the whisper was everywhere. One day, Paul begins to question his mother about why they do not have a car of their own, why they always use their uncles car or a taxi. His mother tells him that they are the “poor” family members. Paul asks his mother why that is. His mother, bitterly tells him that it is because his father has no luck. Paul then inquires whether luck is money. His mother explains that luck causes one to have money and that it better to be born lucky than to be born rich because the lucky will always get more money. She tells him that she is unlucky because she married his father, who is very unlucky. She tells him that perhaps only God knows who is lucky and who is not. Paul then boldly tells her that he is lucky. His mother laughs at him. He tells her that God has told him he is lucky. His mother patronizes him, telling him rather bitterly that she hopes he is right. Paul knows that his mother does not believe him, or rather she just did not pay attention to him and this angers him and makes him want to get her attention. Paul goes on a quest for luck. He obsessively seeks it. While his sisters are playing dolls in the nursery, he rides his rocking horse. He begins to riding it in frenzy, his dark hair waving and his eyes taking a strange glare. The little girls stared at him, but dared not speak to him. When he was done he got down and stared the horse in it’s face and demand that it take him to where there is luck. He rode his horse so furiously that his nurse warned him that he might break it. His sister, Joan remarked that he was always riding it like that. He paid them no mind and only glared at them .

One day his mother and his Uncle Oscar...
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