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

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What happens when Paul gives his mother her birthday present?

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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 mother $5,000 for her birthday; however, he wants to do it $1,000 at a time. That way, he can spread out the money over 5 birthdays. It's a great concept, and his mother should be ecstatic about that kind of gift. That is what Paul thinks too, and he is very excited to see his mother's reaction to the news of the money. Unfortunately, the mother is so materialistic and greed orientated that she is actually disappointed in the annual installment condition.

“Didn’t you have anything nice in the post for your birthday, mother?” said Paul.

“Quite moderately...

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