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Paper Topic:

The Rocking Horse Winner

Lack of Mother 's Love Leads to Self Destruction in

D . H . Lawrence 's The Rocking Horse Winner



Course Name Number , Class Days , Class Time

Ms . Hugetz , Instructor

Alvin Community College


Lack of Mother 's Love Leads to Self Destruction in

D . H . Lawrence 's The Rocking Horse Winner

D . H . Lawrence 's short story The Rocking-Horse Winner ' portrays Paul , the young son of a poor British family who equate luck with money and money with love , consequently he misunderstands what is required to

be considered successful and to find affection . His mother is a self absorbed spendthrift whose general coldness infuses Paul with desperation to find a way to provide her with the money she desires . He eventually rides his luck at naming winning horses to the end of his life in a failed attempt to gain his mother 's love . Paul 's determination , hunger for love and self-destructiveness are a direct result of a lack of love from his mother

Paul 's innocent determination is what sets him down the path to his eventual destruction . It is his mother who first plants the grains of this determination by her constant references to money , or lack thereof Because of this , Paul feels that the house is echoing his mother 's refrain by whispering : There must be more money (Lawrence , page According to his mother , the family 's lack of money all stems from their tendency to be unlucky - his father is unlucky at making money and she is unlucky for marrying him . Paul asserts that he is different because God , apparently speaking through his rocking horse , told him so . He sets out to prove this to his mother while keeping his method strictly confidential . Only his uncle and the gardener are aware that he is posting bets on horse races . After Paul becomes successful , he set the impossible expectation for himself of retaining that luck and he finds he is unable to stop gambling , once started . His determination to make more and more money is such that it begins to affect his life - he refuses to take the break at the seaside his mother has prescribed and chooses , instead , to mount his rocking horse and desperately stay atop its back until he is issued the name of the winning horse in the all-important Derby race

It is apparent that in Paul 's determination he is not really striving for luck , or money , but for some sign of his mother 's love . His mother 's attitude is such that she felt the children had been thrust upon her and she could not love them (Lawrence , page . It created such an anxiety that she strove to make up for this lack by becoming overly gentle and worried to replace the love she could never feel . Along with her anxiety over her emotionless relationship with her children is another concern - that of never having enough money to pay for her spendthrift ways . Because she dwells so often on her lack of monetary resources , she has instilled in Paul a tendency to equate money with love . Paul thinks that if only his mother can obtain more money will she be able to show the love he so desperately craves from her . Money , he feels , will stop the house from whispering and the creditors from turning his mother 's mood sour - the perfect birthday present . Paul 's goal is to use the money he earns from gambling to buy his mother 's love

Unfortunately , Paul 's behavior becomes self-destructive . It is no longer good enough to give his mother a lump sum of five thousand pounds for her birthday he feels obligated , instead , to make the rest of her life worry-free by providing enough money that even she will be unable to spend it all in a short amount of time . Paul 's plan backfires and the voices in the house (Lawrence , page ) suddenly go crazy like a chorus of frogs on a spring evening (page . His luck seems to be running out and he finds himself unable to predict the next race 's winner . Paul feels he must push himself , and the rocking horse , harder and harder until the winner comes to him . In a frenzy now , Paul refuses to stop rocking the horse and he eventually does come up with a winning horse , but only at the expense of his own life

The combination of Paul 's determination , hunger for love and self-destructive behavior are portrayed through third person narrative in D . H . Lawrence 's The Rocking Horse Winner ' and paint a chilling picture of the effects base emotion and lack of genuine emotion can inflict upon a family . If Paul 's mother had not been so possessed by greed , the tragic consequence of her son 's death might never have occurred . When greed replaces love , only dreadful events can possibly result

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