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

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

'The Rocking-Horse Winner' by D.H. Lawrence is a shockingly disturbing tale of materialism, wealth, and a mother's absent affection for her children. The family in the story is constantly lured by the sweet temptation of sin. Although the story doesn't directly speak about religion, it is obvious that the family is Christian from the references to Christmas (481) and to God (482). In this story, Lawrence depicts several of the most devious sins of mankind according to religious, particularly Christian, doctrine: greed, sexual deviance, and gambling. The theme of sin is subtly interwoven throughout the short tale by the representations and portrayals of these acts, and Lawrence also makes it
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Even more, Paul thinks that without her excessive preoccupation with ?more money?, his mother may have more time to devote to her children, and perhaps be greedy instead for their attention. It is soon apparent that Paul is incorrect though: even after he funds his mother with money won from his luck in the horse races, her hunger for more remains. In fact, ?The voices in the house suddenly went mad, like a chorus of frogs on a spring evening?, worse now, chiming the motto that ?there must be more money! ? more than ever!? (488).

In this story the sin of greed leads to the most dangerous consequence of all ? death. The mad chanting of the house eventually leads Paul himself to become mad, and right before the most important (and lucrative) horse race, the Derby, Paul?s quest to satisfy his mother?s greed kills him. Lawrence is showing the most extreme example of how being overly obsessed with material wealth can cause destructive results; but greed is merely one of the sins featured in this twisted tale.

Paul?s method of becoming lucky is particularly interesting to the topic of sinful behavior. His means of discovering the names of the winners of upcoming horse races is ?a secret within a secret? (489), and indeed Paul doesn?t tell anyone until the very end, while on his deathbed: ?Paul?s
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