Essay about D. H. Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner

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D. H. Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner

“The Rocking-Horse Winner” is a short story by D. H. Lawrence in which he creates a criticism of the modernized world’s admiration and desire for material objects. It was published in Harper’s Bazaar magazine in 1926 for the first time (E-Notes). The story’s main character, Hester, is a beautiful woman who is completely consumed by the idea of possession, and so she loses out on the love of family and the happiness of life. Her son, Paul, also learns to love wealth because of his negligent mother, constantly hearing the “whispers” of empty pockets in their home. D. H. Lawrence uses the relationship between Paul and Hester and their money in “The Rocking-Horse Winner” to show the shortcomings
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Obsessed with her “unluckiness,” she neglects her children who are constantly exposed to the cold, emptiness of their mother’s heart. She is unable to love anything but the money she cannot attain. Her oldest child, Paul, forced to deal with this bitter treatment the longest, becomes obsessed with money as well, but as an attempt to win the interest of his mother. “Absorbed, taking no heed of other people, he went about with a sort of stealth, seeking inwardly for luck” (Lawrence 483). He rides into a trance on his rocking horse until he is killed by this urgency to find a winner. He wants to be “lucky” so badly. He wants to be the best, something his mother and father believed they could never be. He needs the money so that his house will stop screaming and his mother will love him.

The role of money is merely to buy attention. Hester wants to use it to buy acceptance in the higher classes, and Paul wants to use it to buy his mother’s affection. The attention the characters seek is only superficial, however. The attention is based on outward signs of prosperity. Hester’s family is considered the best on the block because everything they own looks rich and expensive, but they are in great debt. Hester’s compassion for Paul is also based on this money- presents are the only things that show her love. This never stops Hester from pushing for more luxuries in an attempt to win this false admiration. Of course, in the end, Hester’s vanity will cost them
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