Rocking Horse Winner
March 2nd, 2009
D.H Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner” is a characteristic modern story about a family filled with inner conflict, all revealed through the innocence of the young Master Paul. The family is plagued with the dissatisfaction of never having enough wealth, to keep their affluent position in society. The mother although a descent women, is not very devoted to her children and instead spends her time blaming their “unfortunate” situation on her husband’s bad luck. The house itself is even personified to whisper, “there must be more money.” These whispers and lack of affection from his mother torment Master Paul to try and break the family’s history of bad luck by riding his rocking horse to find the winner of the horse races. Eventually Master Paul drives himself into a state of near insanity by trying to be lucky, which leads to his death at the end. D.H Lawrence uses the literary devices of irony and character to strongly portray his theme of the avaricious nature of human beings and how it brings destruction.
Most of the characters in the story display a desire for more wealth; Mrs. Hester being the most notable, is constantly striving to make more money, “but could not find anything successful.” When asked by Paul why they could not keep a car of their own Hester answers, “because your father has no luck.” Her discontentment is astounding considering they don’t at all live a hard life, but still Hester finds fault with it and chooses to lay the blame on the father. Paul’s Uncle Oscar and Bassett the gardener also find comfort in materialism, and exploit Paul’s uncanny ability to predict winners to enhance their own monetary gain, even though they treat Paul with respect and fairness. Lastly Paul himself is obsessed with making his mother think he is lucky, and uses the horse races as a tool to gain his mothers favor. “Mother, did I ever tell you? I am lucky” states a dying Paul; it’s through the accumulation of...
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