Materialism and Greed
D.H. Lawrence was an English novelist who lived during the early 1900’s. His works reflected upon the dehumanizing effect of industrialization. Because of his views, he was forced to leave his home where he spent the next few months in a small rural village in Berkshire. He was compelled by poverty until he escaped from Britain and travelled across Europe, eventually arriving to the U.S. His stories reflect his experiences in his travels. In “The Working Poor,” author David Shipler raises issues regarding materialism and greed, and the inability to prioritize needs over wants. Lawrence also addresses these issues by using the literary elements of character and symbolism in his story “The Rocking Horse Winner.” Both argue that materialism and obsession for wealth causes a negative effect on the everyday routine and behavior of an individual. Obsession for wealth is portrayed in Lawrence’s story by the behaviors and attitudes of the characters. The character of Paul’s mother had an ungrateful outlook where she wouldn’t appreciate the things that she was given. She would constantly scurry around desperately trying to gather money to buy more into luxury. She was very unhappy with her family and her situation. She constantly used to spend her money extravagantly though she knew they weren’t smart financial decisions. In the story, there was a time “…at Christmas, when the splendid and expensive toys filled the nursery (Lawrence 805).” She had a constant pessimistic mindset towards not only her husband but her children as well. “Nevertheless, when her children were present, she always felt the center of her heart go hard (Lawrence 804).” She claimed her husband was unlucky. “It’s because your father has no luck (Lawrence 805).” Psychologically, she was convinced that nothing is worth in life unless she purchases the best of extravagance. Lawrence uses symbolism to express materialism. The house, where the characters lived, kept whispering,...
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