What are main events in D. H. Lawrence's story "The Rocking-Horse Winner"?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

All main events in a story will pertain to the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.

The exposition generally occurs at the start of the story and concerns the moments the author introduces the setting, characters, and conflict. One of the most important events in D. H. Lawrence's exposition that sets up the conflict of "The Rocking-Horse Winner" is the narrator's description of the children and all their toys hearing echoing through the house the "unspoken phrase: There must be more money! There must be more money!" A second major event that is part of the exposition is the moment Paul has a conversation with his mother about why their family doesn't have enough money and what luck is. It is at this point in the story that Paul decides he himself is lucky and will be able to find luck; he decides his rocking-horse will be able to take him to where luck is, a decision that helps lead to the climax and resolution of the story.

Rising action concerns all events leading up to the climax of a story. One of the most important moments of rising action is when Uncle Oscar finds out from Paul that Paul is working as partners with the gardener Bassett to place bets on the winning horses of races. A second important moment of rising action is when Paul arranges for his mother to receive an annual birthday gift of one thousand pounds for five years, but to his disappointment, she is not as happy about the gift as he had expected her to be. Instead, she demands of the lawyer to have all five thousand pounds at once, and Paul begins to hear the house scream:

There must be more money! Oh-h-h; there must be more money. Oh, now, now-w! Now-w-w--there must be more money!--more than ever! More than ever!

It is his mother's frenzied response to receiving a monetary gift that most helps drive the story to its climax.

The climax of any story is the turning point of the story; the moment rising action becomes falling action. It can also be the most emotionally intense moment of the story. The climax begins to develop the more Paul becomes obsessed with being certain of the winner of the Derby. The climax occurs at full force when his mother leaves a party, worried about Paul, and opens his bedroom door to find him furiously riding his rocking-horse.

Falling action refers to all events leading up to the resolution. Moments of falling action include Paul having made himself ill with "some brain-fever" and winning over 80,000 pounds at the Derby for his bet on Malabar. The resolution sadly occurs when Paul dies, leaving his mother to feel responsible for his death due to her obsession with luck and money.

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

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