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The Rocking Horse Winner Argumentative

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The reading strategies used while reading “The Rocking Horse Winner” by D. H. Lawrence are as follows. Before reading, identification of the purpose of reading this story was paramount. This was quite apparent as it was an expectation of the course, in which the focus was to analyze the subject of identity. I already know that the story was about a mother that does not love her children and I assumed that the story will revolve around her or one of her children. It turns out, the later was true.

The approach during reading was to read the text carefully while highlighting and making notes in the margins to ensure a thorough understanding of the story. This has always been my preferred method and most effective approach as it helps to reiterate the important points throughout the story making it easy to return to important points at later times. You find out later that the protagonist is actually the son, Paul, who seems to have an uncanny ability to identify the winner of upcoming horse race will be after he rides his rocking horse that he received as a child.

Apparently this ritual was at time, a little disconcerting which makes one wonder where he goes in the trance like spells. After reading I had a multitude of questions which remained unanswered such as: * Why did Paul die? * How did his mother feel after his death? * Did she realize her love for him then or was she still as apathetic as ever? * What enabled his ability to predict the winner of the races? In general the ending seemed incomplete in its resolution of the boy’s situation and the feelings of his parents.

The moral of the story seemed to be about the effects of Paul’s childhood and his parents obsession over money which lead to his intrigue with luck, money and horse racing. In conclusion one must think of the common conundrum of whether it is nature or nurture which drives people to the things they do, say, are and how one acts. b) The following is an analysis of “The Rocking Horse Winner” by D. H. Lawrence using the formalism format and will be focused on the setting, conflict, point of view and the themes throughout. I found these to be the most relevant to receive the best understanding of the story itself.

The story was first published in 1926 and first appeared in Harper’s Bazaar. One of the first hints of where and when it is set comes from the use of the slang word “bonny” (meaning attractive) which was popular in England around the time of the stories publication. The second indications that it is set in England is the multiple references to popular horse races in England around that time. The first of which being the Ascot, also known as the Royal Ascot which was held in Windsor. Another hint is that Paul’s uncle asks for a tip on another race called the Lincoln another popular race at the time.

Other races also mentioned through the story are the Grand National, the Epsom Derby, and the St. Leger Stakes. Another sentence of importance reads: “The car sped on in the country going down to Uncle Oscar’s place in Hampshire. ” This is a clear indication that the family lived in England. Later on Paul, Bassett and Oscar convene in London’s Richmond Park to discuss Paul and his ability to predict the winner of the race. One must also take into consideration the time at which the story was written as the amounts of money that Paul was making was extreme and in today’s money would most likely be in the millions of dollars.

World War 1 would have just taken place and the world would be in the midst of the “roaring twenties. ” A time period know for its prosperity. It is clear at this point the where and when the story occurs but the conflict itself is in need of closer examination. The conflicts in the “Rocking Horse Winner” are focused around Paul and they appear to be both internal and external in nature. The internal conflict has to do with Paul’s obsession with luck and doing anything to “get there. ” The external conflict revolves around his parents and their never ending wants.

Paul first learns of luck from his mother explaining to him that “It’s what causes you to have money. ” After learning that both of his parents are unlucky, he is determined to “seek for the clue to luck. ” We ultimately discover that how Paul “gets there,” that is the “luck” of knowing the winning horses’ name, and this becomes his undoing. The reason he needs luck is also apparent because it is his external struggle with his parents’ materialistic desires. His house has been whispering his whole life “There must be more money! ” yet they never go without.

The external struggle with Paul’s need to provide to his family becomes and inner turmoil in the pursuit of luck. The Rocking Horse Winner is told by an omniscient third person. This style of writing enables D. H. Lawrence to reveal the thoughts and feelings of the characters which would otherwise be impossible. The following italics excerpts are examples of this. “She had bonny children, yet she felt as though they had been thrust upon her and she could not love them. ” “Paul’s mother only made several hundreds, and she was again dissatisfied.

She so wanted to be first in something, and she did not succeed, even in making sketches for drapery advertisements. ” “He wanted luck, he wanted it, he wanted it. ” Important information wouldn’t have been revealed if this style hadn’t been used. For example the fact that Paul’s mother didn’t love him or how desperate Paul was for luck. Therefore I find it an essential part of this story narration. Finally we come to the themes of the story. The two prevailing themes throughout the story are a faulty sense of family values and obsession.

You can see this faulty sense of family values in the mother’s lack of love for her children. Stylish living seems to be the priority in Hester’s life. Subsequently her children suffer, as she is not able to provide the necessary nurturing to develop stable mindsets in them. Another example of this would be Uncle Oscar’s willingness, despite his reservations, to support Paul’s wagering. This shows an opportunistic nature in Uncle Oscar and a disregard for Paul’s wellbeing. Also Oscar’s willingness to keep the secret of Paul’s gambling from his mother is another example of this.

The fact that Paul always says “honour bright” when he’s asking his uncle to keep his secret, essentially lying to his sister, is an oxymoron and yet another example of this false sense of family value. The later of these recurring themes, obsession is very interconnected with the false sense of family value. Hester’s obsession with the perception of others and materialistic desires is infectious to her children and manifests itself in Paul with his obsession of luck. He feels obliged to make up for his father’s immaterialized prospects.

He rides his horse for hours and through the night until he gets into an almost clairvoyant state where he sees the winner of the races. In conclusion the family’s lack of values seems to lead to the obsession Paul has with luck and is ultimately the families undoing. To conclude, we find ourselves looking in on a family through an omniscient third party point of view, set in the 1920s living somewhere near London where the protagonist Paul deals with some internal obsession and external problems, his family’s lack of values, force Paul into misfortune.

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