Compare and Contrast the Destructors and the Rocking Horse Winner

1381 Words Oct 5th, 2008 6 Pages
Graham Greene’s “The Destructor’s”, and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Rocking Horse Winner” (Both stories reprinted in Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson, Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, 9th ed. [Boston: Wadsworth] 111-124, 285-298) are two short stories set in post-war England. Despite the similarities of both stories set in post-war eras of Great Britain, the mood and physical settings are vastly different. In fact, the stories each give differing amounts of details and clues about the setting. For instance, “The Destructors” setting is easily discernable, but in contrast, “The Rocking Horse Winner” gives only vague clues regarding the time and setting. Regardless of the differences in the amount of details given, the …show more content…
However, the story delves further into the description of setting by narrowing the precise time and setting to a three day period in a seldom used car-park adjacent to the “shattered Northwood Terrace” (112). The author uses the shattered remains of the Northwood Terrace to further illustrate the destructive setting in which the story is told.
Conversely, author D.H. Lawrence gives fewer details about the exact time and place in which the setting of “The Rocking Horse Winner” is set. Unlike “The Destructors”, Lawrence only gives the reader a brief glimpse of time and setting. However, several clues suggest the setting is in the English countryside, sometime after the end of World War I.
The use of British monetary terms, “pounds and schillings” (290), offers evidence the story is set in England. We know it is the countryside because Lawrence tells us “the mother went into town everyday” (293, 294). Additional clues to time and setting are vague. The use of cars obviously places the time within the twentieth-century. The reference that Basset, one of the central characters, was wounded during the war, and the fact the story was written by Lawrence, who died in 1930, supports the view that the story is set in post World War I England.
In contrast to the destructive setting of the “The Destructor’s”, the setting of “The Rocking Horse Winner” is one of physical beauty. The mother of Paul is described in
Open Document