The Rocking-Horse Winner Questions and Answers

The Rocking-Horse Winner

Paul is a sweet an innocent child who wants to help solve his family's financial problems and hopes to win approval and love from his cold and distant mother. He becomes fixated and anxious at...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2008, 11:15 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

The rocking horse can be said to symbolize childhood, for one thing. Nobody but a small child could ride a rocking horse without breaking it. It can also be said to symbolize an interest in horses...

Latest answer posted August 5, 2014, 6:19 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

The main conflicts in the story concern the family's lack of money to keep up with their social status and Paul's attempts to make his mother happy. Paul's mother is unhappy because she is in debt...

Latest answer posted October 13, 2016, 3:39 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

In D.H. Lawrence's short story "The Rocking Horse Winner," the voices symbolize the greed of his mother. When Paul enacts a plan intended to satisfy his mother's desire for more money in an effort...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2017, 12:14 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Paul's mother defines luck as that which "causes you to have money." She continues explaining to Paul: If you're lucky you have money. That's why it's better to be born lucky than rich. If you're...

Latest answer posted February 26, 2013, 8:47 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Throughout the story the author keeps repeating the phrase "There must be more money." Both parents have expensive tastes but neither is good at earning money. Here is just one example of how D. H....

Latest answer posted February 12, 2015, 8:00 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Paul's mother says she is "very unlucky" because she "married an unlucky husband". This indicates that she does not take responsiblity upon herself, but instead blames others...

Latest answer posted January 3, 2009, 2:46 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

There are two ways to understand the family's economic condition: objectively and subjectively. Objectively, the family members are well off, with everything they need. They live in a fine house,...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2019, 10:11 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

You only get one question, so I'll answer the first regarding "The Rocking-Horse Winner." The whispering is a personification (a coming to life) of the stress and dissatisfaction found in the...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2010, 12:29 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Paul's mother is a terribly greedy individual, and the birthday present is solid evidence supporting this characterization. Paul very selflessly and lovingly decides that he would like to give his...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2018, 1:22 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

A good example of a simile can be found when Paul is talking to his uncle: And then the house whispers, like people laughing at you behind your back. It’s awful, that is! Paul uses this simile to...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2019, 11:49 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Uncle Oscar is drawing a contrast between the extraordinary luck of Paul's betting the horses and the absence of good fortune with regard to his life—and the fact that Paul is now dead. It's as if...

Latest answer posted April 28, 2019, 1:21 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Yes, it is ironic that the whispers of the house grow in intensity as the boy continues to rock on the horse. That is the point of the story - chasing after more and more wealth doesn't bring true...

Latest answer posted March 15, 2008, 9:31 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

That's quite a bit to tackle in one question, so be sure to check out the more developed answers posted at the eNotes link below. In a brief summary, here are those elements: Plot: The plot centers...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2019, 3:17 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Because the story has a fairy-tale quality, Lawrence is vague about the geographic details of the setting. We know it is set in England because Paul ends up betting on the derby and Paul will be...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2018, 12:04 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

In the text, it alludes to a strange fever that just takes over his body, rendering him weak, and eventually takes his life: "His eyes blazed at her for one strange and senseless second...Then he...

Latest answer posted May 29, 2009, 12:06 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

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...

Latest answer posted October 13, 2019, 9:40 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

The first supernatural element we notice in "The Rocking-Horse Winner" involves the whispering of the house. While it seems like a simple metaphor at first, we eventually learn through Paul that...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2019, 7:22 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

The whole problem in "The Rocking-Horse Winner" stems from the fact that Paul's mother cannot love her children because she is incapable of loving anybody. She tries to be a good mother, and she...

Latest answer posted May 29, 2016, 5:27 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Bassett is the "young gardener" who works for Paul's family. He is "a shortish fellow with a little brown mustache, and sharp little brown eyes." Basset had been "wounded in the left foot in the...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2010, 4:45 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

The tone of "The Rocking-Horse Winner" is bleak and unhappy. It starts off, from the first paragraph, with a mother who believes she has no luck and finds she can't love her children. It moves from...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2019, 12:23 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

The whispering is symbolic of the family's financial problems. The phrase, "There must be more money," is the family's constant worry, but it is never spoken about openly. Thus, Paul...

Latest answer posted January 3, 2009, 10:41 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

“The Rocking-Horse Winner” is a short story by D. H. Lawrence. The main character is a young boy named Paul, who worries about his mother because she confides that she has terrible money problems....

Latest answer posted December 25, 2019, 8:48 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

The irony of this statement is that Hester's brother thinks Hester will be better off for being eighty thousand pounds richer and that Paul is better off dead. In fact, neither Hester nor Paul...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2018, 12:51 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

In D.H. Lawrence's "A Rocking Horse Winner," Paul's eyes are mentioned specifically ten separate times.“The boy watched her with unsure eyes; His eyes had a strange glare in them; The boy...

Latest answer posted January 3, 2009, 2:16 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

There are two main forms of irony employed in this excellent short story by D. H. Lawrence. The first is situational irony, and we are presented with an example in the very first paragraph. Here...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2010, 8:59 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

The main problem for Paul's family in the short story "The Rocking-Horse Winner" is his mother's inability to love. In the first paragraph of the story, Paul's mother, Hester, is described as being...

Latest answer posted August 17, 2018, 11:20 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

There are several key themes running through the story by D.H. Lawrence called "The Rocking-Horse Winner," and they could all be written about effectively in an essay, which is what I assume you...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2013, 12:19 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Symbolically, the boys' furious riding represents the vain, endless desire for more money and material possessions that some people pursue. When Paul is riding his rocking horse, he is completely...

Latest answer posted October 13, 2016, 9:31 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

I don't have a very high opinion of the parents in "The Rocking-Horse Winner." Both of them are pretty selfish, petty, and cold. We hear more about the mother; not very much is mentioned of the...

Latest answer posted December 16, 2009, 8:52 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Everyone in the story is affected by materialism. This includes Paul; his mother, Hester; his father; and his two sisters. We know that everyone is impacted because the "house" is always whispering...

Latest answer posted February 23, 2018, 12:23 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Fairy tales typically have magical elements and teach a lesson that demonstrates an important cultural value. Fairy tales also involve a specific problem that must be solved and generally...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2018, 9:27 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

The mother in "The Rocking-Horse Winner" differs from the wicked fairytale stepmothers in "Cinderella" and "Hansel and Gretel" because she is a mother, rather than a stepmother, and also because...

Latest answer posted October 9, 2018, 2:52 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Perhaps another ending would work, but I doubt it would be better. Rather than Paul's mother practically drooling over the huge sum she's about to get, a sentimental writer may have had the mother...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2010, 9:23 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

"The Rocking Horse Winner" is written in third-person omniscient point of view, which allows the reader to become intimately aware of both the mother's sense of frustration with her economic...

Latest answer posted December 14, 2020, 11:48 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

A motif is a recurring theme or element in a piece of literature (www.dictionary.com). There are several motifs in "The Rocking-Horse Winner": Oedipus complex, responsibility, and generosity and...

Latest answer posted May 8, 2008, 6:57 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

It is clear from the story that what drives Paul to making himself ill is his repeated riding sessions on his rocking-horse. Paul is driven to finding out the results of the horse racing by his...

Latest answer posted October 31, 2010, 6:28 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Paul's mother has a fundamental character flaw. She believes that she has no "luck," there is never enough money to satisfy her, and her own sense of failure "made deep lines come into her face."...

Latest answer posted December 14, 2020, 11:23 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Paul's mother is obsessed with money and never seems to have enough. Money, or the lack thereof, is such a presence in the home that the house seems to whisper, "There must be more money!" Paul...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2019, 7:27 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

In “The Rocking Horse Winner,” D. H. Lawrence tells the story of a boy who develops a remarkable lucky streak in picking the winners of horse races. Sadly, the adults around him exploit his gift....

Latest answer posted June 16, 2020, 5:21 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

In D.H. Lawrence's short story, "The Rocking Horse Winner," the problem is not really that the parents have too little money, it's that they perceive that they have too little money. It's a problem...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2017, 10:49 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Paul’s eyes are always described as blazing, blue, intense or uncanny. His eyes represent his dreams, his passion and the futility of his attempts to get luck for his mother. Eyes are the windows...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2012, 3:47 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

There is a strange sort of conflict between Paul and his mother in "The Rocking-Horse Winner." Paul is the protagonist, and it is his story. He wants to please his mother, to make her happy, and to...

Latest answer posted March 6, 2015, 11:14 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

The story begins like a fairy tale because it will introduce an element of the supernatural, which is common in the fairy tale genre. Whether we realize it or not, we are cued how to read a story...

Latest answer posted September 13, 2018, 11:55 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

The secrets Paul keeps from his mother are: (1) he earns money for her by riding his rocking horse furiously to determine the future winners of races and (2) that he is lucky. Paul tried to tell...

Latest answer posted May 6, 2019, 11:07 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

In "The Rocking-Horse Winner," the house is personified at the very beginning of the story as having human feelings "as they [the family] felt always an anxiety in the house" (paragraph 3). The...

Latest answer posted February 26, 2018, 5:59 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

In terms of the story's symbolism and themes about greed, Paul dies because his mother can not be satisfied. Even if he had continued winning more and more money, she would have simply craved more...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2016, 9:15 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

The young Paul mistakenly—yet unsurprisingly—mixes up two words that sound alike: lucre and luck (or "lucker"). Lucre, which means money, is pronounced with a long u in the middle and an "er" sound...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2017, 10:03 am (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Lawrence effectively uses foreshadowing in the story to highlight point of view. While the narrator is nominally omniscient, Lawrence never spells out the exact circumstances of Paul’s family’s...

Latest answer posted June 5, 2016, 8:42 pm (UTC)

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

Paul notices the whisperings of his house that "There must be more money!"—most likely the personification of his parents' struggles to pay their bills due to "the social position they had to keep...

Latest answer posted June 14, 2019, 11:12 pm (UTC)

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