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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.
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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.
Lawrence, D.H. The Rocking Horse Winner. New York: McGraw Hill, 2004.
The Rocking Horse Winner Study Guide. Book Rags. 15 Oct. 2004