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

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What does the style tell us about the purpose of "The Rocking-Horse Winner"? In the phraseology of its beginning, its simple style, its direct characterization and its use of the wish-motif--especially that of the wish which is granted only on conditions that nullify its desirability--characterization, setting and ending are especially significant. What do they tell us about the purpose of the story?

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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. The house in which they live even seems to whisper to the boy, “There must be more money! There must be more money!”

The style is deceptive in its seeming directness and simplicity. It starts out almost as a fairy tale, but the theme and subject are not typical. Just as a fairy tale often begins with “once upon a time” or “there once was,” “The Rocking-Horse Winner” begins with, “There was a woman who was beautiful...” The phrasing of the beginning and its simple style and direct characterization all serve to echo what the reader is accustomed to with fairy tales. The use of supernatural elements furthers the fairy-tale motif, as well.

Thus, the style indicates the intentional purpose is to emulate a fairy tale. Moreover, just as a fairy tale ultimately teaches us something...

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