The Theme of Materialism in "The Rocking Horse Winner" and "The Destructors"

The Theme of Materialism in "The Rocking Horse Winner" and "The Destructors"

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In D. H. Lawrence's "The Rocking Horse Winner" and Graham Greene's "The Destructors" the reader can immediately see both the differences as well as the similarities in both stories from the authors' choices of setting, tone, and characterization. The author's use of imagery and the plot in both stories makes it clear that materialism can play a great part in how people's attitudes and behavior are affected and altered towards others because of a lifestyle filled with misfortune.
In "The Destructors" and "The Rocking Horse Winner", the authors' background and writing dispositions are very similar. Both authors are British and once lived in London. Lawrence and Greene both convey a setting that takes place after the Great Britain war. Their stories involve families with upper-class status but struggles because of insufficient income, while still holding on to a form of their perceived identity of wealth. The family in "The Rocking Horse Winner" lives in a pleasant house with a garden with discreet servants. They feel themselves to be superior to anyone in the neighborhood (Lawrence 365). Trevor in "The Destructors" comes from a family "that had come down in the world" since his father lost his job as an architect becoming a clerk. Even though there is a change in wealth, a glimpse of his mother's attitude is revealed as she still consider herself to be better than the neighbors. Where the setting of the "Rocking Horse Winner" being inside a large rich looking house with voices crying out for more money; the setting of the "The Destructors" starts being outside in the obliterated city only to go into a house to destroy it.
The tone of the "Rocking Horse Winner" is set in the very first sentence as the author introduces a be...


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...bly too young to work becomes an obsessive gambler winning money for his mother to earn income that grown-ups usually do. Poverty is turned to fortune but turns back to poverty as the boy's mother spends the money hastily because of her greed and selfishness. Then tragically the precious life that she had but did not love who brought her luck comes to a sudden end.
In "The Rocking Horse Winner" the characters were more concerned about their selfish desires and need than with the relationship of family. Misfortune brought resentment and bitterness focusing on materialism than love. The same theme is seen in the "Destructors." Not only did the gang uncarelessly destroyed the house of another because of the misfortunate environment that they found themselves, but even at the end a driver laughs after he realizes that Mr. Thomas' house fell in his face.







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