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Story - the Rocking Horse Winner

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In the story The Rocking Horse Winner, D. H. Lawrence uses character development, irony and personification to show that materialism is not as important as one may believe it to be. The desperate pursuit to acquire material things can leave others feeling unloved and neglected.

The author introduces the audience to the characters in the story. Hester, was a beautiful woman "who started with all the advantages" but felt herself to have no luck. She married a man that she loved but that love went away, as he was an unlucky man and could not provide her with the status objects that she desired from life. She had "a boy and two little girls" but she could not love them, she felt that they "had been thrust upon her". To the outsider looking in she appeared to be a great mother, but the children knew that was not so. Paul, even a little boy can feel the lack of love from his mother. He wants to make his mother happy so that she will love him and give him the attention he craves. Paul becomes obsessed with betting on the horse races. He believes that his rocking horse can take him to a winner. So he rides. At the "end of his mad little journey" he would have his winner to bet on. Quite lucky he was and his earnings showed that. He set up a yearly birthday gift for his mother from his winnings, but it still wasn't enough for Hester.

The family feels that they are "superior to anyone in the neighborhood" living in a "pleasant house" and buying luxurious items that are beyond their means. There was never enough money to finance the lavish lifestyle Hester is accustomed to. With the meager earnings of an unlucky husband and the small income the mother made, there was "always a grinding sense of the shortage of money". The house not only lacked the riches the occupants so desired, it was absent of a mothers love. Except for her children, "everybody thought she was such a good mother". Paul so desires the acceptance and love of his mother that he thinks if he can give her the money that she so loves, she might give him the attention he wants. Believing that being lucky causes you to have money, Paul becomes obsessed with betting on horse races. He knows that he can ride to a winner. Charging madly into space, Paul urges the rocking horse on a furious ride, hoping to get there.



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