Literary Analysis: DH Lawrence's The Rocking Horse Winner

Topics: Archetype, Fiction, Short story Pages: 3 (609 words) Published: May 29, 2014
Tormented family relationships stem from a number of occurrences. Jealousy, death, abuse, and many other factors can stress relationships to the point of demise. They can often originate from an individual's character and personality, or further affect it. Much of Lawrence's writing contains the common theme of tormented family relationships. This theme can be seen in the short story The Rocking-Horse Winner through: "the terrible mother" Hester, "the anti-wise man" Oscar Cresswell, and "the sacrificial scapegoat" Paul.

Hester is portrayed as cold and shallow, accurately demonstrating the terrible mother archetype. Thus, she is a perfect example of the theme of tormented family relationships, present in the short story The Rocking-Horse Winner. When the authour describes what, "Everyone else said of her: 'She is such a good mother. She adores her children.' Only she knew herself and her children themselves this was not so" (Lawrence 19). Hester's character is simply more concerned with wealth and her social image than her own children. She is very corrupted by society, and what society thinks of her. As a result of this, she neglects her children, and pays little attention to their needs. Hester proves to fit the terrible mother archetype, and this shows the present theme of tormented family relationships.

Also, Hester's brother, Oscar Cresswell, advances the theme of tormented relationships by portraying the "anti-old man" archetype. It is evident that jealousy and family issues are present based on Oscar's relationships with both his nephew Paul, and his sister Hester. The authour explains, "The Uncle was delighted to find that his small nephew was posted with all the racing news" (Lawrence 22). Oscar inherited the family fortune, as Hester was left with her husband to depend on. Oscar does make an effort to help Hester's financial situation, although he is also very concerned with wealth and social status, neglecting to realize the near trouble Paul is...
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