Fetal Alcohol Syndrome In The Rocking Horse

1099 Words5 Pages

Fetal alcohol syndrome is a severe and devastating condition that develops in a child due to exposure to alcohol while in the womb. Symptoms of the syndrome range from physical deformities to mental disabilities. Several birth defects caused by fetal alcohol syndrome are seen in the protagonist of The Rocking Horse Winner, Paul. Paul suffers from slight facial deformities, schizophrenia, and behavioral problems. Altogether his disabilities provide evidence that his mother consumed alcohol while pregnant with him. Paul’s gambling addiction and schizophrenia are the result of brain deformities caused by fetal alcohol syndrome. On top of that, Paul’s mother not being able to feel love for her children provides evidence that she drank during the …show more content…

Paul suffers from schizophrenia; schizophrenia is a disease in which the victim may hear and see things that are not actually there. When Paul hears voices “in the house… it [frightens him] terribly” (1256). Paul hearing voices that are not there, is evidence that he has schizophrenia due to neurological defects. Another sign of fetal alcohol syndrome is Paul’s hyperactivity. Fetal alcohol syndrome can result in “behavioral problems such as hyperactivity, poor attention and concentration, stubbornness, impulsiveness, and anxiety” (Gavin). All of these traits can be seen in Paul while he is riding his rocking horse. When Paul’s mother walked into his room, she saw him “madly surging on his rocking horse... ‘It’s Malabar!’ he screamed, in a powerful, strange voice... [Then] his eyes blazed at her for one strange and senseless second” (1259). Paul cannot control his behavioral outburst, and releases all his rage on the rocking horse. Paul becomes emotionally unstable, and lashes out at his mother when she catches him riding the rocking horse. The reason Paul acts this way is due to his inability to control his hyperactivity. Paul’s mental deformities are confirmation that his mother consumed alcohol while pregnant. Furthermore, Paul’s rocking horse symbolizes his delayed development due to fetal alcohol syndrome. Paul’s mother even asked him “Aren’t you growing too big for a rocking horse? You’re not a very little boy any longer” (1250). Paul’s inability to grow up and act his age is shown through his need to ride his rocking horse. This displays Paul’s delayed development, which is another sign of fetal alcohol syndrome. There is no question that Paul has a vast amount psychological problems. Since Paul’s problems show a great parallel to that of other fetal alcohol syndrome victims, there is great evidence to suggest his mother drank while

Open Document