The Rocking Horse Winner By F. Lawrence Essay

The Rocking Horse Winner By F. Lawrence Essay

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In D. H. Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner” Paul’s mother is presented as being a cold, unloving, and often neglectful wife and mother. She feels that everyone, especially her children, are able to see the faults in her, so she attempts to cover up these faults and by doing so she is portrayed as being insecure. This insecurity and lack of both love and compassion felt by Paul’s mother stems from her desire to transcend the socio-economic class she feels that she has been forced into. This desire defines her character and actions throughout the story and provides the context for her behavior.
As the story opens, the Mother is said to have been born beautiful, “with all the advantages in life (100)” suggesting that she was not always poor, but that she grew up as a member of the upper class. This point is expanded upon further when Paul questions her on why they are not able to afford their own car. She explains to him that the reason is because they lack luck, which to her is synonymous with wealth. She tells her son that it is better to be lucky than rich, for if one is rich but unlucky one can lose their wealth, while lucky people will always be able to find more money. This suggests that she was once wealthy, undoubtedly a member of a higher social class due to her taste in the finer things in life, but due to being unlucky she has lost her wealth. To illustrate this point further, she tells Paul “I used to think I was [lucky], before I married. Now I think I am very unlucky indeed.” Meaning that she used to have money, “luck,” but having married a husband who is unable to provide for her enough wealth to keep her elevated social position, as well as bearing three children, she loses her social status and becomes resentful o...


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...enough money to support her lifestyle and to transcend her socio-economic class, however temporarily, drives her greed and desire for more and more.
The mother’s actions in the story, her greed, resentment of her family, and the unloving uncaring nature of her character are all the products of her desire to transcend her socio-economic class. Her desire to maintain the lifestyle she has become accustomed to in the early stages of her life drive her actions in the story to produce, for her own benefit, the life she believes she deserves. Even if this alienates herself from those around her. The mother’s actions are inexcusable, however, it seems to be a common theme amongst humans in general to strive to transcend their socio-economic class, it has become engrained in society that it is man’s duty to throw off the bonds of poverty, and to enter a higher social class.

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