“The Rocking-Horse Winner” by D.H. Lawrence
- Pages: 3
- Word count: 514
- Category: Horse Short Story
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In the short story of “The Rocking-Horse Winner”, a boy named Paul is gifted in picking the winners in horse races. He currently is concerned about obtaining money to earn his mom’s love. The moral of this story is about luck and money. Paul’s mother introduces her speech about how lucky people are always rich. Afterwards, in the end, Paul tells her he is a lucky one. There are four elements from this passage that reveals foreshadowing, the revelation of character, suspense and atmosphere. D.H. Lawrence, the author, reveals that Paul has the ability to obtain luck through his rocking horse.
The advancement of the plot is shown when the author says, “Absorbed, taking no heed of other people, he went about with a sort of stealth, seeking inwardly for luck.” This phrase demonstrates that Paul secretly wants to ride the rocking horse for money. This event foreshadows the future horse winner that Bassett and Uncle Oscar are going to bet on. For this money he has earned, all Paul wanted was his mother’s attention and to be worthy in her eyes.
This passage also includes the revelation of Paul’s character. His obsession with luck or so he identifies “lucre”, has become such a huge impact, he gets sick mentally and physically, as well as alienating himself from society. “He wanted luck, he wanted it, he wanted it.” Paul’s obsession has driven him into madness and insanity as he continues to try harder than ever to be lucky.
The passage identifies suspense as Paul creates tension to search for luck. The main conflict in this story is greed. Paul’s mother does not care about her children, only the amount of money she carries in her pocket. “He would sit on his big rocking-horse, charging madly into space, with a frenzy that made the little girls peer at him uneasily.” This phrase shows that the little girls are confused and shocked at the actions of Paul. Many questions are raised such as: What will happen to him? Is something wrong with him?Lastly, Paul creates a dark atmosphere around him. Beginning with alienation to mental illness, he will stop at nothing to gain luck. It was as if he made agreements with the devil for his soul, meaning he would win at every horse race, but ultimately paying the price in the end for his death. “…his eyes had a strange glare in them. The little girls dared not to speak to him.” Paul’s eyes symbolize the dark obsession that has overwhelmed his mind. Moreover, the increasing whispers from the house fueled his insanity and therefore creating a dark atmosphere. Also, another example besides this passage, Paul was rocking his horse in the dark by himself when he screamed out the next winner.
In final consideration, luck can be extremely beneficial or harmful either way. If it is controlled, it can make an individual rich and powerful. On the other hand, if it is obsessive, it can lead to chaos and devastation. Therefore, playing around with luck can be intensively risky.