Reality vs. Pretense: the Leading Binary Opposition in Lawrence's "The Rocking Horse Winner"

Topics: Reality, Truth, Post-structuralism Pages: 3 (1212 words) Published: May 14, 2011
"You can bend it and twist it; you can misuse and abuse it, but even God cannot change the reality," the famous Michael Levy once said. This emblematic quotation assigns the pivotal basis for human beings upon which all other concepts are measured. It is the "reality" that none pursue but all worship. Since literary works spot the light on realities that people conceal, it is where binary oppositions are truly presented. D. H Lawrence's "The Rocking Horse Winner" is no exception. By presenting two main mythemes "Reality/Pretend" under the concept of attitudes, Lawrence shows how family members, society citizens and even inanimate objects prefer inferior pretense over superior reality. To begin with, the binary opposition of "Reality/Pretense" is intensively elaborated on by the attitudes of Paul's family. The mother, the uncle and Basset continue putting masks so as to obscure their real intentions towards Paul. The structure of the mother resides in her snake-changing conduct which perfectly conveys contradiction between authenticity and acting as if. She continually behaves as if she loves her children sincerely while "at the centre of her heart [there is] a hard little place that could not feel love." The unstable make-believe deeds allow only for herself and her offspring to realize her real inner feelings even though not in front of others. The lack of verbal communication illustrates weakness within the family bonds substituting it with Paul's disapproving glares. By preferring silence over speaking, Paul himself portrays the unprivileged part of another binary: "presence/absence." The sky blue color of his eyes foreshadows his final end in which he leaves the earth to the skies. However, the uncle's role accumulates this pretend-you-care strategy in order to achieve maximum exploitation out of the child. Oscar shows care for the kid when asking Basset about the reason for Paul being interested in derbies. But digging deeper, one finds that...
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