.......“The Rocking-Horse Winner” is a short story that incorporates elements of the fable, the fantasy, and the fairy tale. Like a fable, it presents a moral (although it does so subtly, without preachment). Like a fantasy, it presents chimerical events (the boy’s ability to foretell the winners of horse races, the whispering house). Like a fairy tale, it sets the scene with simple words like those in a Mother Goose story: “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. . . . There were a boy and ...view middle of the document...
Leger Stakes at Doncaster in South Yorkshire; and the Lincoln, at Lincoln Racecourse in Lincoln, Lincolnshire.
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. At racetracks, he wins thousands of pounds that he sets aside to defray his mother’s debts.
Hester: Paul’s mother. She 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.
Paul’s Father: Man who works in town and has promising prospects that never seem to materialize because, as his wife says, he is unlucky.
Bassett: The family gardener. He initiates Paul into the world of horse racing, and they becoming betting partners.
Oscar Creswell: Paul’s uncle and his mother’s sister. He provides Paul the money that the boy uses to make his first successful bet.
Miss Wilmot: The family nurse.
Paul’s Siblings: Two younger sisters, one named Joan and the other unidentified by name.
Chief Artist: Woman who sketches drawings for newspaper advertisements placed by drapers. Hester works for her to make extra money.
Point of View
.......D. H. Lawrence wrote the story in omniscient third-person point of view, enabling him to reveal the thoughts of the characters. The underlined words in the following sentences are examples of passages that present the thoughts of characters.
Paul's mother only made several hundreds, and she was again dissatisfied. She so wanted to be first in something, and she did not succeed, even in making sketches for drapery advertisements.
His mother had sudden strange seizures of uneasiness about him. Sometimes, for half an hour, she would feel a sudden anxiety about him that was almost anguish. She wanted to rush to him at once, and know he was safe.
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.
.......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. She does not fool the children, however. They know she does not love them, nor anyone else. They see it in her eyes.
.......The children and their parents reside in a nice house with “discreet” servants, but the mother and father never seem to have enough money to support their elegant lifestyle even though they both have incomes. At his office in...