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

The Rocking-Horse Winner book cover
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Why do the adults fail to hear the whispering in "The Rocking-Horse Winner"?

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Like all houses (aside from the rare, occasional haunted house), Paul's house does not actually talk to him in D. H. Lawrence's "The Rocking Horse Winner." Paul imagines the voices--the whispers and, later, the screams emanating from the house--probably due to an unnamed mental illness from which he suffers. It has been suggested that Lawrence may have created the character of Paul (as well as the boy's mother) from the author's friend, Lady Cynthia Asquith, who had an autistic son. Lady Asquith assembled the collection of Lawrence's works that included this short story.

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