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

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How is the mother in "The Rocking-Horse Winner" by D. H. Lawrence characterized?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Paul's mother Hester is portrayed in a decidedly unflattering way, as a shallow, self-centered woman, obsessed with money and social status. Although everyone thinks she's a good mother, in actual fact she only cares for herself and her own needs. That largely explains why she's so insistent on having more money, which drives Paul towards getting back on the rocking horse time and time again.

Even though Paul continually brings her luck, Hester remains deeply unsatisfied, as if she senses that it can't last. No amount of money is ever enough for Hester; she must always have more. Hester's greed and overweening self-regard would be bad enough at the best of times. But in due course they will come to have tragic consequences. And although Hester could not reasonably have foreseen them, she should've realized that her monstrous selfishness would end in tears sooner or later.

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In "The Rocking-Horse Winner " by D.H. Lawrence, Paul's mother, Hester, is not an admirable woman in any way. She...

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