drawing of a young boy riding a rocking-horse

The Rocking-Horse Winner

by D. H. Lawrence
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Why does Paul think he can be lucky through his own efforts in D. H. Lawrence's "The Rocking-Horse Winner"?

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There are two reasons why Paul thinks he can be lucky on his own in D. H. Lawrence's "The Rocking-Horse Winner." First, he feels desperate to help his mother. Since his father cannot provide the life his mother wants, Paul is determined to help his mother himself. His determination makes him think optimistically. Secondly, he is characterized as a very special boy in that he is far more observant and sensitive than others. It can be said that his awareness of his unique observation skills makes him feel certain he's a lucky person and that he will be able to bring luck to his mother. In fact, many scholars will argue that D. H. Lawrence is suggesting through his text that "all children possess extrasensory perception" because all children have "intuitive knowledge" that gets lost the older we grow and the more we doubt ourselves (eNotes).

We see Paul's unique observation skills during his conversation with his mother about why their family does not have enough money. When he asks his mother why she thinks she's an unlucky person and she tries to move past the question by saying, "Well—never mind! Perhaps I'm not really," Paul is able to see, using his strong observation skills, that she doesn't really mean the response she gives him:

But he saw, by the lines of her mouth, that she was only trying to hide something from him.

In addition, Paul says that "God told [him]" he is a lucky person, which shows us he feels that he hears things most other people do not hear. It is because he sees and hears things other people don't normally notice that he feels certain he'll be able to find the luck his mother needs.

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