In "The Rocking Horse Winner" the mother's attitude changes.  Describe her first attitude and trace the changes in the story.

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Her attitude, unfortunately, doesn't change a whole lot.  We can track small changes, but as a whole, she is a pretty static figure.  At the beginning of the story, she is a woman who feels down on her luck, and who has children that she has no feelings for.  When she looks at her kids, "she always felt the center of her heart go hard."  She wants more money, "but she did not know where to begin" to earn some more.  This strain "put deep lines into her face"; but despite this failure, she "had a great belief in herself".  They lived beyond their means, in style, and always felt the lack of money.  She expresses to her son that being lucky means being able to get money.  So that is her main focus in life.

Her attitude only begins to change as Paul starts acting more strangely.  Her heart softens; she becomes concerned for him.  It states that "His mother had sudden strange seizures of uneasiness about him. Sometimes, for half-an-hour, she would feel a sudden anxiety about him that was almost anquish.  She wanted to rush to him at once, and know he was safe."  Her heart of stone now held "a strange anxiety" for her son.  So, towards the end of the story her heart seems to soften a little, she does change a little in regards to her children, but it is too late.  Her attitude towards life and money hadn't changed, and that is what drove Paul to his death.

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

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