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“The Rocking Horse Winner” by D. H. Laurence

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“The Rocking Horse Winner” by D. H. Laurence shows us a common demon we all face in life, greed. We all need money in our life, to survive and to satisfy our needs. The more money you have, the easier your life would be. However, greed is the basic characteristic of human being, the more money you have, the more you want, as shown in the story. Greed is described as an hunger-evil that destroys love in the our heart. Paul’s family is an example for the downfall of the upper middle class, they receive very little amount of money and have to struggle to keep their “social position” and ” expensive taste”. It is clear that Paul does not have enough love from his parents, Paul’s mother “could not love her children” as she wants. the house was “haunted by the unspoken phrase: There must be more money!

There must be more money!” (Lawrence, 1993). We can see the negative effect of this whisper to the family and especially to a child like Paul. He keeps thinking about money and luck which is “what causes you to have money. If you’re lucky you have money. That’s why its better to be born lucky than rich. If you’re rich you may lose money. But if you’re lucky, you will always get more money.” He started to be greed, and haunted by the whisper in his own house “The children could hear it all the time… when the expensive and splendid toys filled the nursery. Behind the shining modern rocking horse, behind the smart doll’s house, a voice would start whispering” (Lawrence, 1993) . He consider himself lucky and he need to use that to help his family, he thinks that if his family became lucky and have money, his parents will love him more. However instead of saving it, she just want more and more money.

Paul thinks that his family finally became lucky, he tried so hard to prove to his mom that he is lucky so she will love and be proud of him. He does not know those whispers are evil and they are slowly killing him. The pressure of picking the winning horse make him crazy and lead to his death. Even with the death of Paul, his mother shows no emotions. Through this we can see how greed totally consumed her heart and turn it to stone. She separated herself from what should mean most to her, her family. Her overwhelming greed and selfishness is contrasted with Paul’s unselfish generosity


Lawrence, D. H. (1993). The Rocking-Horse Winner. In D. Angus, The best short stories of modern age (p. 75). Ballantine Books.

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