The only story in which an author employed personalization is “The Rocking Horse Winner,” and did so to profound effect. The whisperings of the house is the first indicator the reader has that the protagonist family's materialism is not merely an interesting trait (as evidenced by the description of the family's feeling of superiority in their community) but will be the focus of the story's theme and plot as well. Lawrence pays special care to make sure that the sinister mood generated by constant and ever-present whispers, and the potential to enhance the theme, does not go to waste. By assigning the whispers to specific locations and objects, having inanimate objects notice them, and having the whispers respond to events in the story (especially the introduction of Paul's ₤5000 winnings), Lawrence highlights the critical nature of his short story with regards to materialism.
It is the author's portrayal of Paul, however, that most promotes the theme throughout the story. Paul's most striking trait is his obsession that, although is an obvious correlate to his...
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...ose traits for the purpose of making us moral people. The reader is also asked to look beneath the veneer of civilized behavior that typically surrounds them and wonder at the possibility of such an atrocity being committed by one's neighbors in the name of tradition and community.
Both of these short stories are excellent examples of works with masterfully expressed themes that leave a lasting impression on the reader. In particular, the impact of these two stories stems from the two authors' insightful choices about character description, as well as their use of literary device. Although both themes are, themselves, important, without each authors' decision to communicate their characters' traits in a subtle manner that restricted the accessibility of information to the reader, they might not have ended up being studied in literature classes today.
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