Amanda English 101 14 October 2009 Living Up to High Expectations “The Rocking Horse Winner” by D. H. Lawerence is about a young boy named Paul who dedicates his life to finding luck and gaining his mother’s love. The main conflicts in the story are the relationships between Paul and his family and his family’s endless greed. Their desire for money and social status ruin the relationships of its members of the family. The rocking horse is Paul’s childhood toy that he keeps with him through his adolescents.
The rocking horse is not only a way for Paul to find his luck to win the races, but a way for him to gain his mother’s attention and respect. Another conflict in this story is between Paul’s mother and father. Paul’s mother blames all of their financial problems on her husband. She believes that luck is “what causes you to have money” (97). She tells her son that they are poor because his father is unlucky and she was lucky until she married him. Paul believes that if he can become lucky for his mother, she will love him in return.
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The author describes the father as “very handsome and expensive in his tastes, seemed as if he never would be able to do anything worth doing” (96). From this quote this reader gathers that Paul maybe tried to take over is father’s role to please his mother by being successful and making her the money she needed to fulfill her materialistic lifestyle. All in all, Paul’s greatest conflict was with himself because he allows the pressure from his mother and society to drive him into yearning money and social status which eventually leads to his death.
Paul wants the rocking horse to “get there” (106) . The rocking horse never goes anywhere it’s a semblance of reality, just like the money. People think the money will make them happy. The rocking horse is a symbol of true happiness which does not come through money but through love, family relationships, and self worth. This is what Paul really seek his mother’s love and a sense of self worth.