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D. H. Lawrence. “ The Rocking-Horse Winner “.

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d h lawrence

D. H. Lawrence

“The Rocking-Horse Winner“

slide2

There was a woman who was beautiful, who started with all the advantages, yet she had no luck. She married for love, and the love turned to dust. She had bonny children, yet she felt they had been thrust upon her, and she could not love them. They looked at her coldly, as if they were finding fault with her. And hurriedly she felt she must cover up some fault in herself. Yet what it was that she must cover up she never knew. Nevertheless, when her children were present, she always felt the centre of her heart go hard. This troubled her, and in her manner she was all the more gentle and anxious for her children, as if she loved them very much. Only she herself knew that at the centre of her heart was a hard little place that could not feel love, no, not for anybody. Everybody else said of her: “She is such a good mother. She adores her children.” Only she herself, and her children themselves, knew it was not so. They read it in each other’s eyes.

slide3

“That’s why it’s better to be born lucky than rich. If you’re rich, you may lose your money. But if you’re lucky, you will always get more money.”

  • The action takes place in England in the years just after the First World War.
  • The places include a home in an unidentified locale in or near London.
  • Paul: Boy who knows that his mother does not love him or his sisters even though she outwardly shows affection and treats her children kindly.
  • After Paul receives a rocking horse one Christmas, he rides it often and develops a strange intuitive power that enables him to correctly predict the winners of horses races.
slide4

At racetracks, he wins thousands of pounds that he sets aside to defray his mother’s debts.

  • Paul’s mother becomes dissatisfied with her marriage after her husband fails to make enough money to support the elegant lifestyle that has put the family deep in debt.
  • The family gardener initiates Paul into the world of horse racing, and they becoming betting partners.
  • Paul’s uncle provides Paul the money that the boy uses to make his first successful bet. 
slide5

A beautiful woman blessed with advantages marries a handsome man for love, but the love eventually runs dry.

  • Feeling as if her three children—a boy and two girls—“had been thrust upon her,” the narrator says, she resents them in her heart.
  • Outwardly, however, she behaves as if she loves them dearly, and people say she is wonderful mother.
  • They know she does not love them, nor anyone else.
slide6

The mother and father never seem to have enough money to support their elegant lifestyle even though they both have incomes.

  • The house comes to be haunted by the unspoken phrase: There must be more money! 
  •  If you're lucky, mother tells son, you have money. That is why it is better to be born lucky than rich.
  • Boy (Paul) rides his rocking horse in the nursery.
  • He commands the horse “to take me where there is luck,” 
slide7

The family’s gardener, Bassett, keeps Paul up to date on racing news.

  • Places bets for Paul.
  • Uncle asks the boy for advice on which horse to bet on in the Lincoln race. Paul recommends Daffodil. 
  • Daffodil wins.
  • Uncle becomes partner with Paul and Bassett.
  • "It's as if he had it from heaven,” Bassett says.
slide8

Bassett keeps all of Paul’s winnings for him under lock and key.

  • He is reserving it for his mother, who has no luck because his father has no luck.
  • After his mother gets the money, the house will stops whispering that the family is short of money, Paul says. 
  • Paul gives his uncle five thousand pounds to deposit with the family lawyer.
  • The lawyer in turn is to give Paul’s mother a thousand pounds each year on her birthday but is not to reveal the source of the money except to say that a relative had reserved it for her. 
slide9

Mother wants all the money at once.

  • The house voices do not stop. Instead, they become incessant: “There must be more money . . . more than ever!” 
  • Paul’s mother attends an evening party. 
  • When they arrive at about 1 o’clock, his mother goes upstairs to check on the boy.
  • In “a strange, powerful voice,” Paul cries out, “It’s Malabar!”
  • He falls from the horse and lies unconscious.
slide10

Neither his father nor mother knows what Malabar means, but Oscar informs them that it is the name of a horse entered in the Derby. 

  • Malabar came in first, he made over eighty thousand pounds.
  • During the night, Paul dies. 
  • Themes.
  • Parental neglect.
  • Faulty Sense of Values. Stylish living the chief goal of marriage.
  • Lust for material objects. Having luck and money will make him lovable to his mother