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In D.H. Lawrence's short story "The Rocking Horse Winner," a young boy named Paul consistently hears his mother's woes about their lack of money.
The mother withholds love for her children, which she blames on her circumstances and bad luck. Their home is nice enough, and the four children live in style. Their mother pretends to love the children when she is around other people.
Paul often hears his mother talking about money.
"There must be more money!" "There must be more money!"
Paul is raised to believe that luck is the way to achieve money. Paul begins to ride his rocking horse obsessively. Paul has a mental goal that no one else can envision. When he explains this to his mother and Uncle Oscar, Uncle Oscar states:
"That's right, son! And don't you stop till you get there."
Paul continues to ride and engages his Uncle Oscar in his plan. Uncle Oscar gives Paul money, thinking Paul's goals are a joke, and makes bets as Paul tells him to on specific horses. Paul's horses win, bringing in money.
"But what are you going to do with your money?"
Paul replies that he wants to stop the whispering in his house. He believes that if he gives his mother the money, his parents' bad luck that has caused the house to whisper every time his mother writes a letter to someone will go away. He believes that the house is mocking his mother.
"Of course," said the boy, "I started it for Mother. She said she had no luck because father is unlucky, so I thought if I was lucky, it might stop whispering."
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