drawing of a young boy riding a rocking-horse

The Rocking-Horse Winner

by D. H. Lawrence

Start Free Trial

How is the idea of "luck" presented in the story? Show how the idea of desirability of luck changing as the story goes on.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The pursuit of luck is one of the main themes in “The Rocking-Horse Winner.” Paul had a conversation with his mother about luck. From this talk he decides that the only way he can have her love is to buy it with his love and his luck. To her luck is something that brings money; if you are lucky you can keep the money. Paul assumed if he would get lucky and give her money she would become happy. Her happiness would then succeed in causing her to love him, or so he thought. Instead, his mother became greedier than ever, she cared more about money than loving her son. Paul accumulated money from horse races because of his luck. Paul had the ability of picking the winning horse at a race if he felt absolutely sure. He would get on his rocking horse and rock and rock until he got to where he wanted to go, as if he actually was in the race riding the horse at the racetrack and returns from his trance-like state after completing the race with the name of the winning horse. Luck was Paul’s vehicle, his only way of getting to his mother’s love, which was so distant in reality the only way to reach it was by luck. His last words to his mother show his desperation and certainty that luck will gain his mother’s love. “Mother did I ever tell you? I am luck!” she replied by saying “No, you never did” proving that she never indeed cared for her children. During the night Paul died not knowing if his mother loved him then.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial