The short story The Rocking-Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence deals with greed and discontent. The author’s principle theme in this short story is how money does not buy happiness. The story is set in the home of an upper middle class family somewhere in the early 1900’s. Both of the parents have exquisite taste in expensive items. In the opening of The Rocking-Horse Winner, the main character’s mother, Hester, is introduced as a beautiful woman with no luck. She married for love and has children but she does not love them. She feels very unlucky because her income does not satisfy the lifestyle that she feels her family requires. Hester is constantly looking for ways to get more money. Hester’s greed causes whispers through- out the house, “so the house came to be haunted by the unspoken phrase: there must be more money! There must be more money!”(101). This is a story about how greed destroys a family. Paul, Hester’s son, tries to win his mother’s love by gambling on horse races for money inspired by a magical rocking horse. He rides his magical rocking horse in a journey to find luck and the names of the winning horses in order to win his mother’s affection. Paul’s winnings at first prove to not be enough. He stages a letter to be delivered in the mail to Hester with his winnings. Paul asks "Didn't you have anything nice in the post for your Birthday, mother?"her cold and absent reply is "Quite moderately nice." (107). Even after Hester receives what she most desires, it isn’t enough, she is still longing for more wealth. The house seems to go mad “There must be more money! Oh-h-h; there must be more money. Oh, now, now-w! Now-w-w-there must be more money!—More than ever! More than ever!” (107). D.H. Lawrence implies in his writing that the actual building yearned for money. He wanted to convey to his readers with the idea that greed was permeating through the walls of the structure.
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