Use of Tone to Create Mood in D.H. Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner
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D. H. Lawrence uses tone to create a mood in his short story "The Rocking-Horse Winner." His ability to create tone allows us to understand the characters of the story, and enables us to actually feel as if we are in the story by creating such a vivid mood. Lawrence uses the eyes of the main character, Paul, to show how he feels about the events taking place, and this in turn helps the reader empathize with the boy and understand the story. Lawrence also establishes a theme by allowing the audience to feel his story. He creates a mood that is conducive to the story and allows the reader to experience what is going on inside the house. Through the use of tone and mood Lawrence creates the theme, allowing the reader to realize that there are much more important things in life than money.
Lawrence uses the emotions of the main character of the story, Paul, to help the reader understand the child's mood. He uses Paul's eyes to help give the reader a feel for his disposition when different events in the story take place. The story begins with Paul receiving a rocking-horse for Christmas. The child becomes interested in horse races, and the gardener helps him to place a bet on one of the races. The child wins the bet and becomes very focused on betting at every race. When Paul realizes how much money that he is making with these bets, he soon becomes obsessed with not just horse racing, but the money that he brings in. The reason for this obsession stems from the feeling that there is never enough money in the house. Paul soon turns ill from the stress that he places on himself to win more money for his mother. A few days before Derby, a very important race that Paul has bet on, he is found rocking violen...
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...ster, you're eighty thousand to the good, and a poor devil of a son to the bad. But, poor devil, poor devil, he's best gone out of a life where he rides his rocking-horse to find a winner" (Lawrence, 980). In this final sentence Lawrence conveys the idea that the mother has gained much money, but has lost her son. Within this sentence he also states that the son is better off dead than in this household where money is of greater importance than the ideals a family should display.
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