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

The Rocking-Horse Winner book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What does Paul's expression at his first race foreshadow in "The Rocking-Horse Winner" by D. H. Lawrence?

Expert Answers info

caroline-engle eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write33 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and Business

Paul attends his first horse race with his Uncle Oscar. They go to the Lincolnshire Handicap. At the race course, Paul's eyes are described as "blue fire." During the race, he purses his lips. Daffodil, the horse Paul bet on, comes in first place. The odds were four to one, so Paul's original bet of 300 pounds and his Uncle's bet on his behalf of five pounds ends up making him 1215 pounds. Prior to Daffodil's victory, Oscar did not really believe that Paul had accrued such a large sum of money from betting on racehorses. Once Daffodil wins, though, Oscar agrees to partner with Paul and Bassett on future races.
 
Paul's behavior at the Lincolnshire Handicap foreshadows later events in the story because his blue eyes are also described as fiery when he is rocking on his rocking horse. He frantically rides the horse, as that is where he has learned of which horse he should bet on in the past. Paul is intent on learning the name of the winning horse for an upcoming race to stop his house from whispering about money, and he ultimately does. Just like during the first race Paul attends, Paul's family expresses doubts about what he claims he can do. He is right about the horse, though, and earns his family over 70,000 pounds on that race alone (and more than 80,000 pounds total) right before he dies. 
Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial