Rocking Horse Winner Analysis

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Lauren Healy
ENG 102
2/9/2013
For Luck and For Love

We as humans are competitive beings. Whether it is outwardly expressed, or not, the desire to be smarter, better looking, stronger, more successful, higher in status than the next person naturally lies within us. In D. H. Lawrence's “The Rocking-Horse Winner”, Hester, a wife and mother of three children, turns that innate desire into an obsession. The author, throughout this story, uses literary techniques to communicate that money shouldn't come before family and it can't buy happiness. Hester is a materialistic woman with an emotionally tired marriage causing her to resent her children, she feels “as if they had been thrust upon her”. She had two girls and a boy, Paul. Her family is trying to keep up with a high class and high status lifestyle on a middle class income. From the outside, the family was picture perfect with a loving mother, well-behaved children, a nurse and gardener to tend their luxurious home, but with two mediocre incomes, they struggled to keep up with this image. This financial strain was felt by the children as they saw in their mother's eyes that something wasn't right. They also picked up on their mother's tension and felt unloved and unimportant. To emphasize the gravity of the tension due to the pressure and high priority of having nice things, the author personifies the house by having it whisper “There must be more money”. To further emphasize, the author adds that even the stuffed animals and a rocking horse heard the whisper and expressed their understanding in their eyes. This whisper will soon consume Paul and become his obsession to silence it. One day, Paul, who can put at age 12 or 13 based on context clues of the time period, had a conversation with his mother about what the meaning of luck was. “It is what causes you to have money. If you're lucky you have money....if you're lucky you will always get more money”, she explains. She tells him that his father is very...
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