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

The Rocking-Horse Winner book cover
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In the short story, "The Rocking Horse Winner", by D.H. Lawrence, comment on the use of genre. In its word choice, simple style, direct characterization and its use of the wish-motif this story has qualities of a fairy tale. Its differences, however- in chracterization, setting and ending - are especially significant. What do they tell us about the purpose of the story?

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In response to your insightful question you need to think of how Lawrence is using the genre of a fairy tale, but then goes on to subvert it and challenge it to drive home his message. Firstly, the characters in fairly tales are normally very "flat" characters - that is they are undeveloped and are not explored psychologically in any way. This is certainly not true of the mother, who is described in great detail, especially her lack of love for her children and her greed:

She had bonny children, yest she felt they had been thrust upon her, and she could not love them.

There...

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