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

The Rocking-Horse Winner book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Who or what is responsible for Paul's death in "The Rocking Horse Winner"?

Expert Answers info

Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12), Professional Writer

bookB.A. from Calvin University

bookM.A. from Dordt University

calendarEducator since 2014

write6,195 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

This is a great open-ended question; therefore, the answer is up for debate and will differ from reader to reader. Which answer is defended most depends a bit on the type of reader.

A literal, scientific, and concrete answer type of reader will say that the boy died from exhaustion. David's body simply couldn't handle the pushing that he and his family were putting him through. His exhaustion left him susceptible to getting sick, and once he was sick, he never let his body rest enough to recover. He died as a consequence of this.

A reader that looks for symbolism and that "deeper meaning" might...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 537 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mrs-campbell eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write2,159 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

vnessawong21 | Student

Although the answer above covers most of it, I would like to introduce another interesting outlook on this question. It could be argued that it was love that ultimately killed Paul. While on the surface it was riding the rocking horse which ultimately killed Paul, the reader must dissect Paul's motivations to find the real reason behind his death. It is Paul's desire to be loved that ultimately kills him. However, if we go a layer deeper the theory arises that to love, you must love first. It can be argued that Paul won so much money and rode the rocking horse because he loved his mother and it was this love that ultimately killed him.  

check Approved by eNotes Editorial