Similarities Between Tell Me A Riddle And The Rocking Horse Winner

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Tell Me A Riddle and The Rocking Horse Winner are similar stories as they both focus primarily on the lives and hardships of the mothers and their eldest children in the story. Tillie Olsen’s story Tell Me A Riddle can be compared to DH Lawrence’s The Rocking Horse Winner with similarities in theme. Both Olsen and Lawrence focus on the theme of neglect and abandonment driven by the lack of attention the eldest children receive from their mothers. However Olsen addresses this theme through symbolism whereas Lawrence uses personification. The new idea that is revealed about neglect and abandonment through the analysis is that it can be both intentional and unintentional and can be interpreted differently by different characters.
In both Tell Me A Riddle and The Rocking Horse Winner Olsen and Lawrence use the theme of neglect and abandonment to describe the relationship between the eldest children in the story and their mothers. For example in Tell Me A Riddle Emily feels abandoned by her mother after the birth of her sister. This is because her mother could no longer care for Emily which led her to send Emily to the convasalent home. It states “I used to try to hold and love her after she came back, but her body would stay stiff, and after a while she would push away”(Olsen,4). At this point Emily is separated from her family for eight months, not being able to hold on to personal belongings that remind and connect her to them. Emily feelings of abandonment is evident here as

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