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The Rocking-Horse Winner

by D. H. Lawrence
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What are the mother's values in D. H. Lawrence's "The Rocking-Horse Winner"?

Paul's mother values material possessions, and above all else, she values luck.

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In D. H. Lawrence's short story "The Rocking-Horse Winner," Paul's mother values material possessions. Because she values material possessions, she lives with her family in an expensive home cared for by servants even though neither she nor her husband can really afford the lifestyle:

Although they lived in style, they felt always an anxiety in the house. There was never enough money. The mother had a small income, and the father had a small income, but not nearly enough for the social position which they had to keep up.

Her husband also values material possessions. In fact, both are described as having "expensive tastes," and since they cannot afford their tastes or their lifestyle, they are constantly in debt.

Because the mother places so much value on material possessions, she values money. But, above money, she values luck, because she feels it is luck that brings people money, as she explains to Paul when he asks her why they never have enough money:

If you're lucky you have money. That's why it's better to be born lucky than rich. If you're rich, you may lose your money. But if you're lucky, you will always get more money.

Because she sees herself and her husband as unlucky, she is in a constant state of misery and worry and even becomes obsessively greedy for more money once Paul begins secretly winning money for her through betting on horse races.

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