Don't Rock The Horse

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When discussing the seven deadly sins, one of the first that comes to mind is envy. Defined as the “painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage,” envy can quickly drive those inflicted mad. Ceasing the popularity of greed starts by educating society about the unfulfilling mannerism. D.H. Lawrence attempts to expose this idea in his short story. Through Paul's desperation, the demanding house, and Hester's narcissism, Lawrence suggests that materialism and greed ultimately lead to the destruction of families and human beings in "The Rocking Horse Winner." Beginning with Paul’s desperation, materialism and greed prove dangerous, even deadly, in “The Rocking Horse Winner.” Paul first shows his abnormal need for recognition during a conversation with his mother about luck. He believes that being lucky will allow his mother to love him; however, seeing that his mother “pay[s] no attention” to him, Paul grows angry and decides he “want[s] to compel her attention” (Lawrence 74). He is determined to prove his worthiness to her. Kathleen Wilson, editor of Short Stories for Students: Volume Two, agrees that Paul relinquishes all “needs of his own and is motivated solely by the desire to help his mother” (234). Paul’s obsession with luck is clearly influenced by his yearning for motherly affection, which starts his rapid decline. Furthermore, Paul’s materialistic values become clear after concluding that Uncle Oscar “must be lucky.” Paul decides that the three of them “should all be partners (Lawrence 78). His fixation possess him to use his family and loved ones to get luckier. American poet W.D Snodgrass concurs that “[Paul] loves his mother so much that he is sure h... ... middle of paper ... ...e mother who chooses “money as [her] nexus of affection” (Snodgrass 206). A blatant result of her acquisitiveness, Hester represents the true destruction materialism has in “The Rocking-Horse Winner.” Undoubtedly, materialism poses a threat to an ever-growing society. With the creation of inconceivable luxuries each year, the green-eyed monster continues to consume humanity. Only by recognizing this faulty trait does humanity have a chance at fighting back. Lawrence successfully unmasks the destruction greed and materialism cause families and human beings in a “The Rocking-Horse Winner.” Perhaps now humanity has a chance to conquer one of the most damaging debaucheries of mankind. Unfortunately, for this family, they will forever be plagued with a desolate life consumed by envy because “money…has only sharpened the craving it was meant to satisfy…” (Snodgrass 207).

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