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Literary Essay on The Rocking-Horse Winner by D.H Lawrence

6 pages
1460 words
Boston College
Type of paper: 
Argumentative essay
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The Rocking Horse Winner is a representation of a sardonic tale that employs devices of the fairy tale as well as a mockingly detached tone to moralize on the values of passion, love and the dangers of money. In the book The Rocking Horse Winner, is an example of the most artistic work that Lawrence accomplished working on and it bears significance and moral of the two combined-money and love. Lawrence is therefore considered a modernist and a member of the literary school opposed to some of the literary conventions of the 19th-century taste, morality, as well as traditions (Lawrence, p. 42). As evident in the the rocking-horse Winner, he exhibits a disdain for the conspicuous consumption, the materialism crass, and emotionally distant styles of parenting the popularly thought that existed in England in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is, therefore, the reason that the story is considered by many to be an example of the modern prose touching on pertinent issues that are part of current lifestyle- money and live.

The rocking horse is a story of a boy who received a gift for picking a winner in the horse race. In the story, an omniscient narrator is relating the tale to a boy whose filmily is short of money always. The mother of the boy is also not capable of showing love while she is preoccupied with the thought of status she wants to achieve and that which material wealth can provide to her. The son however acutely aware of them, other wish and obsession her mother has for money, get motivated to swing into action to help his mother. Ironically, the boy also has the same issues perturbing him (Lawrence, p. 46). As he throws himself into the melee to help his mother, he wants to silence the voice that haunts him, the voice coming from the house that whispers there must be more money! There must be more money! Paul is questioning his mother of the family circumstances and why they do not have what he terms as the necessities such as a car and the reasons as to why they are poor members of the family, a question which hi mother answer that the father is the reason they are poor since he had no luck.

Dissatisfied with the answer the mother provide for the reasons of being poor, Paul presses for further explanation prompting an explanation of what makes a person lucky or unlucky before he declares himself as fortunate because God had told him so. With the help of his grandfather Besset and his uncle, Oscar Paul ventures out in a mission to prove his assertions genuine when he tries gambling and picks the winners in horse races while he was riding on his rocking horse. He ultimately envisions a winner (Lawrence, p. 49). In this case, Paul proves to be unnaturally talented by being the winner and before long, he saves a considerable amount of money. The vision of the young boy fulfills finally. The uncle enquires from him what he intends to do with the money, and he tells the uncle that he is obliged to give his mother the whole of the money. In doing so, he hopes that this will bring luck to the mother and subsequently stops the house from whispering.

Throughout the story, the woman is identified later in the text as Hester who apparently is indifferent to the life she is living. Despite Paul, arranging to give her the amount she thought could delight her but she becomes indifferent. His gift does not make the intended effect the boy has ever imagined. Instead of the mother being delighted, Her voice is cold and absent. The passion and love for the money make so propounding to Pauls mother that she does not become grateful to the son for the gift. Economically, herself is starved of great things in her mind and in pleasing her zeal to find more money, her son Paul agrees to let her have the whole amount-five thousand at once. What is the essence of being gratitude? This can be one of the questions that linger in Pauls mind (Lawrence, p. 52). When the mother accepts the money, instead of quieting voice, the generosity causes his mothers voice to rage like a chorus of frogs on a spring evening. Thus, his mother can finally afford some of the items the boy was asking during his tender age. However, ironically, the more Paul offers to give her mother, the more the mother, and the voices in the hose demands. With stunning resemblance, the same scenario happened to the mother catches up with the son too. Though Oscar tries calming him, Paul too becomes obsessed and with the same zeal of picking the winner of the upcoming derby and he is described as his blue eyes are blazing with madness as he is riding his rocking horse. The same feeling that the son had, characteristically occurs to the mother. She feels sympathetic towards her son and attempts to urge him to consider joining the family at the seaside hut he insists on staying in the derby until it ends.

The reasons for writing this paper is to unravel the sense of satisfaction or love. As exhibited by the characters both Paul and his mother, have several that rotates within the same theme. Pauls driving force to be loved appears to in several areas of the story, in essence, his life represents the course his parent's relationship took when the mother would crave for love but did not get it. When the same fate befell him, that is love affection from his mother waned away he had the best option the money, he asserts that money now equates the love that he did not get from both the parents, and it represents happiness. In the same breath, his mother had the insatiable appetite for money, which created the same desire and value in Pauls life. With him believing that by getting a lot of money, her mother would love her in return and fulfill the void on his life. Lawrence artistically emphasizes on Hesters need for materialism in which he demonstrates the simple belief that wealth and material acquisitions make the substitute of love and that is capable of making up for the dissatisfactions in human life (Swatridge, and Lawrence p. 73). Her neighbors knows her as a good mother, but their children know the apparent type of mother they have. Lawrence conveys to the readers that material possessions and money cannot fulfill any dissatisfaction in individuals life, but instead they can lead to desires that are more outrageous.

In conclusion, Lawrence sums up in his closing text as he presents the continuous vicious effects of what greed brings. He uses symbolism in developing the ideas that love life and happiness are stripped away when there are compulsive natures of never getting satisfied by what we have. In addition to this, the material cravings only bring a sense of dissatisfaction that ultimately renders an individual to be sad always. He utilizes numerous characters that and symbolism which exhibit the destruction of the house of Hester; this is accompanied with very illusive portrayal of the rocking horse to the readers the damaging effects materialistic behavior cause a family (Swatridge, and Lawrence p. 75). This reminisces the powerful symbolism as seen throughout the story. Lawrence utilizes Hesters character to embody such as greed that is common to the human being; she is portrayed as one whose quest for material possession does not end with the greed of being in possession of a significant amount of money to afford a privileged life with a vast of things she deservedly misses. An earlier check out in the story reveals clearly to the readers that she does not have the emotional attachment to her husband as well as her children. House had bonny children, yet she has a feeling that the children were thrust upon her and she cannot love them. She was blessed with a family, but she is utterly incapable of showing them, love. These points out to the readers that she desires wealth more than her children do. To the outsiders, she appears to be a loving mom who is dedicated to her children, but she knows well that she does not cherish the family but yearn for money.


Work Cited

Lawrence, D H. The Rocking-Horse Winner. Place of publication not identified: Rise of Douai Publishing, 2013. Print.

Lawrence, D H. The Rocking-Horse Winner: Short Story. Toronto, Ontario: Harper PerennialClassics, 2013. Internet resource.

Swatridge, Colin, D H. Lawrence, D H. Lawrence, and D H. Lawrence. The Rocking-Horse Winner: The White Stocking ; And, Strike-Pay. London: Macmillan, 1989. Print.

Lawrence, David Herbert. Collected short stories. Jovian Press, 2017.


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