The Rocking-Horse Winner by D. H. Lawrence

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The Rocking Horse Winner Theme

What is the theme of "The Rocking-Horse Winner" and how is it developed throughout the story?

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Wealth is a dominant theme of D.H.Lawrence's "The Rocking Horse Winner."

In this story, the acquisition of wealth becomes the measure of value for everything in life. The preoccupation with money as a measure of worth in the mother's mind becomes so prevalent in the home that her son Paul complains to his uncle, "I hate our house for whispering." Further, he explains to Uncle Oscar that he has started his betting on horses "for Mother." Paul hopes that by winning a considerable sum of money, he can quiet the house and bring his mother luck. But even when he has money sent to her secretly in the mail, and he asks his mother if she has received "anything nice in the post" when it arrives, Paul receives this reply: "'Quite moderately nice'...her voice cold and absent."

This cold answer disappoints Paul, so he has more money sent by way of the lawyer's office to help pay all her debt. Then, he returns to his rocking horse so that he can discover another winner. When he does not pick a winner...

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