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The Rocking-horse Winner

In D. H. LawrenceÆs The Rocking-Horse Winner, a ne'er-do-well family includes a son who has a gift of feverishly riding his rocking-horse until he experiences a revelation of the upcoming horse race winner. PaulÆs gift eventually kills him. PaulÆs family consists of his parents and two little sisters. His family lives a decent lifestyle, but his parents, particularly his mother, continually laments their need for more money. Her obsession with acquiring more money pervades the household, to the point where the house seems to whisper to Paul, ôThere must be more money! There must be more money!ö (Lawrence 148). PaulÆs parents are unwilling to forego their superficial and materialistic desires, thereby creating tension in the household and especially within Paul.

As a young boy, Paul is filled with anxiety over his motherÆs laments and the never-ending whispers for ômore money.ö PaulÆs mechanism for alleviating the tension he feels in his family environment is to wildly ride his rocking-horse. When he does, his revelations of the race winners provide ample income to resolve what he perceives to be his familyÆs need. By doing so, Paul alleviates the tension within his environment and within him. However, his desire to control his environment to help his family will rob them of their most valuable asset, Paul himself.

The main source of PaulÆs tension and anxiety is a loveless mother whose preoccupation with material wants has robbed her of the ability to love another human being. Everyone who knows PaulÆs mother says of her, ôShe is such a good mother,ö (Lawrence 147). However, deep in her heart PaulÆs mother knows she is incapable of human love and connection: ôOnly she herself knew that at the centre of her heart was a hard little place that could not feel love, no, not for anybodyö (Lawrence 147). The fact that on the surface PaulÆs mother appears loving is highly significant to the story, because ...

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The Rocking-horse Winner. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 03:25, July 07, 2020, from