In "The Rocking Horse Winner", what kind of child is Paul and what kind of person is his mother?   What are his motivations?  Characterize the mother fully. How does she differ from...

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Paul can be described as earnest, eager to please, haunted, and mature for his age.  His main motivations are to win his mother's love by being lucky (which, to him, means earning money), and to quiet the "voices" in the house, which whisper "There must be more money". 

His mother can be described as a sometimes well-intentioned, but fickle, selfish, and cold human being.  She does not love her children, but at least she pretends to.  She tries to earn more money for the family, but fails to learn how to budget and trim down their lifestyle, along with giving up on any sort of job that she starts. 

She is similar to the stepmother in Cinderella in the sense that money is important to her, and she seems to be, in general, fairly discontented and bitter with life.  However, she is not intentionally malicious, scheming, or conniving as the stepmother.  Her desire for money does not lead her to cruelty or even determined creativity, just a general feeling of malcontent and victimization.  She more lets life happen to her than making life happen, and I would say that's the main difference.  It's an interesting question, and I hope that helps!

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