What is the main conflict in the story "The Rocking-Horse Winner"?

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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 gain her love, all by winning money on the horse races and giving it all to her. But no matter how hard he rides his rocking-horse and no matter how much money he wins, she cannot be satisfied. When he sees to it that she receives the sum of five thousand pounds, her reaction is just the opposite of what he expected.

Then something very curious happened. The voices in the house suddenly went mad, like a chorus of frogs on a spring evening. There were certain new furnishings, and Paul had a tutor. He was really going to Eton, his father's school, in the following autumn. There were flowers in the winter, and a blossoming of the luxury Paul's mother had been used to. And yet the voices in the house, behind the sprays of mimosa and almond-blossom, and from under the piles of iridescent cushions,...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 710 words.)

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