Understanding the writings of D.H. Lawrence requires a clearer perspective of his settings and plot development as observed with most of his short stories. In The Rocking-Horse Winner, for example, the writer tries to explicate the rewards of thriftiness while castigating its eventual consequence as this paper will show.
The Rocking-Horse Winner is a beautifully written short fiction by D.H. Lawrence that attempts to explain the failure of a middle-class Englishwoman. However, there are most significant aspects of the plot worth noting especially how failure manifests itself into anxiety and nervousness. On that account, Lawrence attempts to explain how living beyond one’s means is wrought with high expectations and could result in a lack of money in the family. This scenario is notable with a tendency to separate oneself from the familiar world of thrift that is not only retrogressive but demanding for children (Lawrence 1). Consequently, Paul and Oscar pressurize their parents into betting on horses that are not likely to win them any prize. Alternatively, delineation from reality indicates the laxity to reflect on moderate existence that comes with caution to avoid bankruptcy.
However, the journey into the mysteries of adulthood fails to acknowledge the financial situation of the house and this often causes disagreements between family members. It deeply illustrates the failure to teach children good morals of exercising patience when there is little in the house. According to Lawrence, Uncle Oscar Cresswell and his nephew Paul present their character traits as devoid of moral conscience especially in their placement of bets on horses. In spite of the possibility to win as noted later with the 80,000 pounds for Bassett, it still demonstrates vacuum in thought and inadequate restraint. Contrastingly, the writer illustrates this with the inquisitive nature of Paul when he tries to comprehend their lack of car instead of relying on their Uncle’s. Lawrence writes “And so the house came to be haunted by the unspoken phrase: There must be more money! There must be more money! (Lawrence 2).”
Return to reality, thus, becomes a consequence when death occurs in the family. Paul succumbs in spite of the triumph of 80, 000 pounds that accrued from betting from his uncle. This portrays the difficulties of living beyond one’s means especially when it is directly attached to life. Paul’s mother, for instance, is thrilled with her son’s promise instead of exhorting him against the perils of betting that lead to both disillusion and despair. Hester, who is Paul’s mother, is equally confused with the prospects of living in an unstable marriage while there is little money from the money. Lawrence, hence, notes the disparities of things that spark happiness and contentment amongst couples when they lack clear goals and objectives in life.
It, therefore, is vital for any literary criticism to embrace the setting of a story and how characters behave to communicate a particular theme as noted with Lawrence’s story. Additionally, embracing multiple aspects of understanding a story especially in characterization is another instrumental step toward exposing the narrative’s message.
Lawrence, D.H. The Rocking-Horse Winner. New York, NY: SAGE. 2011. Print.