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

The Rocking-Horse Winner book cover
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What connection do Paul and the author of "The Rocking-Horse Winner" have? What in the story can be used to answer the above question?

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Indeed, there do seem to be several connections between D.H.Lawrence's life and his fable-like story, "The Rocking Horse Winner."

For both D.H. Lawrence and his character Paul there is a desire for the approval and love of their mothers. There is also an awareness of financial deprivation in the families. In both the author and his character, there is a certain absence of a father, although in differing ways. In Lawrence's story there is a profound message about wasted lives, a message that seems to emanate from his familial experiences. Furthermore, Paul's death is a cautionary comment on what Lawrence felt was the "misdirection of the life force" caused by social constraints of his time.

Financial deprivation

  • During D. H. Lawrence's childhood, his father worked as a coal miner, and his mother, who was from a middle-class family that had fallen into financial ruin, supplemented the family income by working in the lace-making industry. 
  • In "The Rocking Horse Winner," there is "an anxiety in...

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