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

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In "The Rocking-Horse Winner," why is Paul's mother left unnamed until the very end of the story?

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Madeleine Wells eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It's true that we don't discover the name of Paul's mother until the end of the story. As the other educator pointed out, authors often use unnamed characters to emphasize the universality of certain proclivities in humans.

For example, Paul's mother is a materialist. We learn that her name is Hester at the end of the story. Although Hester and her husband (who remains unnamed) both work, their spendthrift habits inflict stress on the entire family. The walls persistently whisper that "there must be more money." During holidays, Hester and her husband spend extravagantly.

Despite their expensive tastes, neither Hester nor her husband is happy. For her part, Hester blames her unhappiness (and the family's straitened circumstances) on her husband's "unlucky" nature.

Hester has a restless, critical spirit. She lives for the next infusion of cash, but her happiness only lasts until...

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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