The Rocking-Horse Winner

Topics: Selfishness, Family, Altruism, Narcissism, Luck / Pages: 5 (1038 words) / Published: Mar 10th, 2017
The Rocking-Horse Loser
Money, although important, is not the only thing that makes life worth living. However, for the characters in D. H. Lawrence’s short story “The Rocking-Horse Winner,” money appears to be the only thing that produces happiness. This ideology proves quite toxic, as seen in the characterization of Paul and his mother; it is through these two vessels that Lawrence accentuates the consequences of greed and materialism.
Paul’s death is the result of his mother’s selfishness which highlights the toxic aspect of his mother’s selfishness. His desire for luck arises from a conversation with his mother in which she laments that she married a “very unlucky man” (Perrine’s 287). Paul, believing that luck is “what causes [him] to
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Her introduction is full of contradictions: she is a woman who “started with all the advantages” but “had no luck” and “had bonny children yet she...could not love them” (285). These discrepancies are critical because first impressions assist the audience in comprehending the characters. The juxtapositions highlight her unhappiness with her current situation and set up the reason for her neglect. Because she is used to upholding a high social status, she cannot bear to live a life without the expensive tastes she is accustomed to, so she continues to maintain her lavish lifestyle, despite the house’s cry of “There must be more money!” (286). Her selfishness is also evident in the way she speaks about her husband. They are the “poor members of the family” because she married an unlucky man with an affinity for the same upscale lifestyle that they cannot afford. The paradox in being the underprivileged part of the family is that they are far from poor. Even before the assertion, the family felt “superior to anyone in the neighbourhood”. Money, in this story, correlates directly with personal worth and because they have more wealth, it enables them to feel that way. She associates money with luck and that is what causes her misery and suffering. She does not realize that hard work is essential to money-making and she would rather blame it on luck because if God is the only one who knows who is lucky and unlucky, then she could not possibly be at fault for not having enough money. Her hunger for more money is consistent through the entire short story, but is most prevalent when she receives a generous donation on her birthday. Instead of appreciating the gift, Hester becomes more withdrawn and has the audacity to ask for all of the money at once. She claims she is “in debt” (294), so Paul forwards her the entire sum. Instead

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