In what way is the boy’s furious riding in "The Rocking-Horse Winner" an appropriate symbol for materialistic pursuits?
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The boy's riding is very symbolic of some people's pursuit of material wealth. He is not riding the horse to enjoy it - that would be a leisurely fun ride that we see children do all of the time on rocking horses. His riding is break-neck and furious, completely out of control, just like the pursuit of more, more, more is for some people. And the house knows it - the house eggs Paul on to get more and more money, even after he's able to help his mother pay off their family's debts, until finally, Paul dies from the sheer exhaustion of riding the horse to find out just one more winner.
People waste their lives and kill themselves, working to get more and more and more, and this beautiful, sad story demonstrates that perfectly.
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