The Rocking Horse

The Rocking Horse

Length: 1356 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Within the story entitled The Rocking Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence, the audience is divulged into the sordid family life of a adolescent boy named Paul, where there are three obvious morals told through the story’s style and symbolism. Also present within The Rocking Horse Winner are elements of supernaturalism and cold harsh reality.

     The first distinct moral in The Rocking Horse Winner is that we must not let ourselves be succumbed to greed and the need for materialistic items over our responsibilities in life. The mother and father’s obsession with wealth and material items is at battle with their parenting responsibilities within The Rocking Horse Winner. The mother and father have replaced love with the constant, overwhelming desire for additional money. It is the responsibility of the parents to provide for the children in their family. Especially, where as young children are concerned, they should never feel the need to provide for their parents. The Rocking Horse Winner portrays the financial destruction of an upper class family struggling to maintain their high level status while regularly spending beyond their means. The mother and father have expensive tastes that can not be supported with their mere common jobs. In order to give their family the best and retain their illicit status, both parents embezzle all of their resources to
purchase materialistic things. The Rocking Horse Winner depicts how greed and the need possessions and money drives a member of this upper class family to resort to drastic measures.
(Lawrence; The Rocking Horse Winner Study Guide)

     The second obvious moral to The Rocking Horse Winner is that often one does not realize what they have and how they we feel about it until it is gone. Early on within the story we learned that Paul’s mother had attractive, bonny children. Yet, “when her children were present she always felt the center of heart go hard”. She knew “that there was a place in the center of her heart where she could not feel love for anybody, not even her children”. Later on in the story, the mother goes on to show her emotions and love when she has “seizures of uneasiness” about Paul and finds him fiercely riding his rocking horse into unconsciousness and finally plumaging to his death. When she is presented with losing her child, she realizes what she had, a little too late. (Lawrence p.980, 988)

     The third apparent moral to The Rocking Horse Winner is even if you have good luck, eventually it will run out.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Rocking Horse." 16 Nov 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Greed in The Rocking Horse Winner Essay

- Greed in The Rocking Horse Winner    People need money to live, and enough to buy the basic goods one needs to survive, but everybody wants more money. More money means an easier life. The more money one has, the more money one wants, as is shown in the story, "The Rocking Horse Winner" by D. H. Lawrence. At the beginning of this story the family did not have enough money to support their opulent lifestyle. Mr. Lawrence illustrates their situation like this: "Although they lived in style they felt always an anxiety in the house....   [tags: Rocking Horse Winner]

Free Essays
430 words (1.2 pages)

Money for Love in The Rocking Horse Winner Essay

- The Rocking Horse Winner - Money for Love In this short story, "The Rocking Horse Winner," there is a little boy competing for his mother's love, and his mother bringing her son to his death with her confusing vocabulary. Paul's mother confuses him with her vocabulary words such as: love, money, lucky, unlucky, and peace of mind. She tells him that luck has to do with everything, and that she was extremely unlucky. Paul's family were not poor, but his mother wanted to compete with other families by having the best and the most stylish....   [tags: Rocking Horse Winner]

Free Essays
629 words (1.8 pages)

The Rocking-Horse Winner Essay

- The main themes in “ The Rocking-Horse Winner” are the pursuit of love and luck. Both of the main characters in " The Rocking-Horse Winner", Hester and Paul, are in pursuit of love. First the mother, Hester married for love, and the love faded, she gained children from her marriage, but she could not love them. Nowhere in her life does she find love for anyone but herself. The closest thing to love that comes to her she rejects. That comes in the form of her young son Paul. Her feelings towards her children, especially, Paul, is exemplified when her children are around, she always feels the center of her heart go hard....   [tags: The Rocking-Horse Winner]

Free Essays
633 words (1.8 pages)

The Rocking-Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence Essay

- The Rocking-Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence      The Rocking-Horse Winner is a complex story that is best understood if one examines it through the 5 Elements of Fiction: setting, character, plot, point of view and theme. This story is about a little boy named Paul who is trying to gain love and affection from his greedy mother. One day he told his mother that he had luck and he knew his mother did not believe him. This compelled him to go out and find luck on his own. He set off on his rocking horse on a journey to find luck....   [tags: Rocking Horse Winner Lawrence Essays]

Research Papers
646 words (1.8 pages)

The Rocking-Horse Winner by D.H. Lawerence Essay

- "The Rocking-Horse Winner" by D.H. Lawerence talks about a family who lived in style, but always had anxiety in their house. There was never enough money. The parents knew the children were growing up and they would need money to send their children to school. The house came to be haunted with the phrase: There must be more money. There must be more money. The children could here it aloud but never dared to say it. The mother believed they were poor due to the fact her husband had no luck....   [tags: The Rocking-Horse Winner, D.H. Lawerence]

Free Essays
388 words (1.1 pages)

Essay on The Rocking Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence

- The Rocking Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence Written in 1933, D.H. Lawrence's short story "The Rocking Horse Winner" illustrates the consumptive nature of materialism. Through author's use of characterization, symbolism, and language in The Rocking Horse Winner, Lawrence successfully portrays a greedy and cold hearted mother, Hester, who attempts to fulfill the dissatisfaction in her life using wealth and material comfort. Lawrence uses Hester as an example to convey to the readers that materialism isolates one from love and ultimately leads to destruction....   [tags: European Literature Rocking Horse Lawrence]

Research Papers
1078 words (3.1 pages)

Comparison and Contrast of The Destructors and The Rocking Horse Winner

- Comparison and Contrast of “The Destructors”, by Graham Greene and “The Rocking Horse Winner”, by D.H. Lawrence This comparison and contrast of “The Destructors”, by Graham Greene and “The Rocking Horse Winner”, by D.H. Lawrence will center on selected parts of stories from the opening through the conclusion. I will seek to compare and contrast both authors’ choices of characters, themes, techniques of suspense, moral statements, and conclusions. “The Destructors” and “The Rocking Horse Winner” were both written in the third person by British authors and set in post war Great Britain....   [tags: The Destructors The Rocking Horse Winner]

Research Papers
889 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Luck and Fate in The Rocking Horse Winner

- Luck and Fate in The Rocking Horse Winner The Rocking Horse Winner, by D.H. Lawrence, is an informative story about luck and one's own fortune. In this story, Lawrence attempts to illustrate how one can guide one's own fate, instead of allowing things to happen by chance. He believes that the only person that affects what happens to someone, is really that person himself. "Everything is what you make of it," is Lawrence's message to the reader. By his use of characterization, instructional images, and irony in The Rocking Horse Winner, D.H....   [tags: Rocking Horse Winner Essays]

Research Papers
833 words (2.4 pages)

Barn Burning And Rocking Horse Winner Essay

- In both William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning” and D. H. Lawrence’s “ The Rocking Horse Winner”, the authors give us a glimpse of two poor families who suffer through similar problems in different ways and situations. The comparison shows how in “Barn Burning” because of Abner’s recklessness and cruelty, his son Sartoris Snopes and family are unable to get into the larger society. In “The Rocking Horse Winner,” the mother’s greed for money and her behavior with her children and husband forces her son, Paul, to find a way to get more money....   [tags: Barn Burning Rocking Horse Winner Compare Contras]

Research Papers
1220 words (3.5 pages)

D.H. Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner Essay

- D.H. Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner 'The Rocking-Horse Winner' by D.H. Lawrence is a shockingly disturbing tale of materialism, wealth, and a mother's absent affection for her children. The family in the story is constantly lured by the sweet temptation of sin. Although the story doesn't directly speak about religion, it is obvious that the family is Christian from the references to Christmas (481) and to God (482). In this story, Lawrence depicts several of the most devious sins of mankind according to religious, particularly Christian, doctrine: greed, sexual deviance, and gambling....   [tags: D.H. Lawrence Rocking-Horse Winner Essays]

Research Papers
1521 words (4.3 pages)

Paul had begun to question what luck was, as he had heard about luck from his mother and Uncle Oscar. When questioned by Paul as to what luck was, his mother stated that luck is what causes you to have money. Paul’s mother believed that in order to be successful in the society in which they lived and to make money, they had to have luck. Young Paul seemed to be the first to understand her theory when he asked his mother “why don’t we keep a car of our own? Why do we

always use Uncle’s, or else a taxi”? His mother blamed their financial status on his father’s luck or lack of luck. This created a realization to Paul that in order to be rich, you had to be lucky. The astonishing pressure to acquire money was so great that eventually the desperate, youthful son journeyed out to find luck in an attempt to please his unhappy, money hungry mother. Convinced that he could be lucky, Paul became driven by the haunting, unspoken phrase: The must be more money! This unspoken phrase was constant and consumed their family. It could be heard by the children at all times throughout their lavish home, even though the words were not actually being spoken. They even heard it at Christmas when their nursery was filled with expensive toys. Paul felt that if he could get lucky, he could stop the whispers that filled his home. The emphasis on luck was recurring throughout The Rocking Horse Winner. Paul and his family thought luck was a gift but in this case it actually ended up being a deadly curse. Paul did prove to his mother that you could find luck but what he did not realize then was that there would be a horrific price to pay for it. Paul’s method of luck eventually led to his downfall and death. Paul began to ride his rocking horse in his bedroom. He thought that if he rode long enough he would eventually find luck. When Paul would fiercely ride his horse, he would go into an almost catatonic state. Paul would ride his rocking horse until something or some greater force allowed him to know who the winner of the next horse race would be. Paul began betting on the horse races with his Uncle Oscar and Bassett, the gardener. Eventually, Paul’s luck began to slow down and he lost a couple of races. Determined to make the right bet for the next big race, the Derby Paul rode the rocking horse to death, Paul’s death that is. Paul had shown his mother that he could


find luck, but his luck ended when he died in the process of learning who to bet on at the Derby. (Lawrence, p. 981, 982, 988, 989, 990; Free Essays)

     The most envisioning supernatural force within The Rocking Horse Winner is the journey in which Paul takes when he rides his rocking horse to determine who will be the winner of an upcoming horse race. It is easily viewed that within his fantasy, Paul is uncontrollably bargaining with some force greater than man. He rides his horse crazily in order to gain knowledge of who will win the next horse race. The force that Paul believes in, is strong and overpowering. Paul rides into an almost catatonic state in order to gain the name of the horse that will win. This knowledge allows Paul to successfully gamble on horse races time and time again. Paul’s early earnings from the races were not enough. His shallow, selfish mother only wants more money. What young Paul earned would never be enough. Paul eventually succumbs to his power and pays the ultimate price. Paul senselessly drives himself to an early death while trying to unburden his family with their financial inconveniences. (Lawrence, p. 981, 982, 986, 983, 984, 990)

     The cold and harsh reality of this story is that due to their greed and need for material things, a superficial and greedy family lost their only son, who was merely attempting to please his money grubbing mother. Young Paul died trying to obtain the money that he so often heard about to please his gluttonous, money devouring mother. Realistically, his mother’s love for money and the finer things in life cost him his life, and her, the only son that she had bared. The truth is that all Paul wanted to do was rid
his home of the constant need and struggle for money. He wanted to live a child’s life.
He so desired to make his mother happy and allow her to carefreely live the unquenchable lifestyle that she so desired. (Lawrence, p. 980, 981, 988, 989, 990; The Rocking Horse Winner Study Guide)     

     As the story, The Rocking Horse Winner comes to a close, it is apparent that the selfish desires of the mother and father have been met. Paul’s death bed realization has made his family eight thousand pounds richer. While the whispering sound of the phrase “there must be more money” may come to be non existent, there is also another sound that they will not hear. The have lost the sound of their only son, Paul. They will not hear him playing with his siblings, they will not hear his voice at all, as he is dead. Paul has died at their mercy, while he was only trying to please his materialistic, unsatisfiable mother.


Works Cited:

Lawrence, D.H. The Rocking Horse Winner. New York: McGraw Hill, 2004.

The Rocking Horse Winner Study Guide. Book Rags. 15 Oct. 2004
Return to