The Rocking-Horse Winner Questions and Answers
by D. H. Lawrence

The Rocking-Horse Winner book cover
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Can the Rocking Horse Winner be seen as a rite of passage?   My essay topics is to "Compare “The Rocking Horse Winner” and “Through the Tunnel” as stories of “rites of passage”." However, I'm suffering trying to interpret the story as a rite of passage.....  

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Not surprised you are having trouble interpreting the short story "The Rocking Horse Winner" by D H Lawrence as a rite of passage. If it is a rite of passage, it isn't a very nice one. A rite of passge in reference to childhood should refer to a young man's development emotionally and socially into adulthood. Yet in Lawrence's short story, the poor child never seems to have had a carefree childhood to pass from. In some ways, he has never been a cherished child so therefore has always been a little adult. Always conscious of his mother's disatisfaction with life and with him, he spends his entire childhood trying to please and trying to help - and failing. In many many ways, his rite of passage means learning that no matter how hard he tries, he can never win the battle to satiate anothers needs.

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