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What is the meaning of Uncle Oscar's statement to Paul's mother at the end of the story?

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ryylee | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 1, 2009 at 11:04 AM via web

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What is the meaning of Uncle Oscar's statement to Paul's mother at the end of the story?

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chicagorilke23 | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted December 1, 2009 at 3:07 PM (Answer #1)

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In The Rocking- Horse Winner by D. H. Lawrence, Uncle Oscar's statement of, "My God, Hester, you're eighty-odd thousand to the good, and a poor devil of a son to the bad. But, poor devil, poor devil, he's best gone out of a life where he rides his rocking-horse to find a winner," spoken to Paul's mother is rather harsh considering her son just died. However, the statement is a good torque back to the beginning of the story. At the start of the story, there is a description of Hester, and the view she has of herself as a mother.

It is noted that she attractive and grew up with many advantages that would ensure her a good life. Yet she marries for love and fails to be made happy by it or the children she gives birth to and raises. She does not love her children as a mother should. This is why she over compensates by exaggerating her affections for her children. This tactic works in fooling others but fails to settle her misgivings. She is cold and since she can not love her children, it is doubtful that she can love anyone.

Hester's son Paul is lucky and Hester is not. Paul also has the ability to be loved which his mother does not have. Even though, he dies at the end of the story, he is the real winner. He does not let the coldness of his mother influence the amount of sensitivity he has towards others or hinder his abilities. The mother may have money from winning the races but she loses a son.

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