Paul In The Rocking Horse Winner

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D.H. Lawrence’s short story “A Rocking-Horse Winner” goes beyond just telling a story about a young boy and his rocking-horse. What begins as a young boy’s hope of finally obtaining his mother’s love leads to an unexpected ending which leaves the mother feeling shocked. Throughout the short story, Lawrence uses a child named Paul in order to portray how people will often push themselves beyond their limits to fulfill a loved one’s desires. Lawrence reveals the character of Paul and his longing for his mother’s love through his determination and obsession, his secretive and trusting nature, and his mother’s inability to love.
Paul is both determined and obsessed with finally making his mother happy; however, in order to achieve his goal, he
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He does this in fear that she will put a stop to him betting his money on the horses. Throughout the short story, Lawrence depicts Paul as being secretive with both his money and ability to predict horse race winners as well as being an extremely trusting person. Lawrence shows this when he writes, ‘“Oh!’- and the boy writhed in an odd way- ‘I don’t want her to know, uncle.’ ‘All right son! We’ll manage it without her knowing”’ (313-315). This statement occurs after Paul makes a shocking ten thousand on Lively Spark in the Leger race. When Paul tells Uncle Oscar that he made this money to give to his mother, he makes his Uncle Oscar promise that he will not let his mother know it was he who is providing her with this money. The number of people that actually know about Paul’s somewhat unhealthy obsession also shows how important it really is to Paul to keep this secret and how much of a trusting person he is. At the beginning of the story, Bassett, the family’s gardener, is the only one who knows about Paul putting money on horses. When Paul’s Uncle Oscar discovers his love of horse racing; however, he is then let in on the huge secret. Lawrence displays Paul’s rapidly growing trust in his Uncle Oscar when he writes, ‘“Honour bright?’ said the nephew. ‘Honour bright, son!’ said the uncle” (166-167).…show more content…
He is also often seen as equating love with luck and feels that his mother will only feel this love for him if he is capable of putting his money on winners. Before the short story even begins, “the process of disaffection has already occurred, and the close love between husband and a wife which would have generated the mystical energy necessary for the family’s well-being has been transformed into an ugly passion, greed” (Koban 3). Paul begins to feel that he is the only one who will be able to fulfill this need for his mother because she feels she cannot do it for herself. She strongly believes that she will never have the ability of being lucky considering she married a man who lacked this luckiness and gift of choosing a winning horse. Along with the rest of his family, Paul days are so consumed with the idea of making money that they often hear repeated phrases throughout their household. Lawrence writes, “And so the house came to be haunted by the unspoken phrase: There must be more money! There must be more money! The children could hear it all the time, though nobody said it aloud” (34-36). This desire for more money is what ultimately leads to his mother’s feeling of displeasure towards Paul and his siblings. Lawrence reveals these feelings in the story when the mother expresses that on the outside people always tell her what an
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