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

The Rocking-Horse Winner book cover
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What does this passage suggest about love and money in modern society?

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"The Rocking-Horse Winner" is just as applicable of a story in modern society as it was when it was written. The story shows readers dangers that coexist alongside of generally positive emotions like love.

Paul's mother should immediately come to mind. She is absolutely capable of love; however, she directs her love in the wrong direction. She loves money and material things. She is a quintessential example of how materialism poses a threat to relationships. She loves things and uses people rather than loving people and using things. This overall affection for material goods is what motivates Paul to work so hard at providing his mother with her material desires. He figures that if he can provide those things for his mother, then she will eventually turn her love and affections toward him. Unfortunately, Paul's mother is never satisfied, and Paul is forced to literally work himself to death.

Paul also deeply loves his mother, and the story shows how that can be dangerous. He so deeply loves his mother that he is blinded from seeing that no matter how much he provides for his mother, she will never put his needs before her own needs. Ideally, love is a bond and commitment between two people regardless of whether or not it is romantic love. If both people are not committed, then the relationship is abusive, and this short story tragically suggests to readers that we need to always consider whether or not our love is being repaid back to us.

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