Comments on the Rocking-Horse Winner
David Herbert Richards Lawrence was one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century. In his short life, he wrote many novels which enjoyed great po
pularity. Through meticulous psychological description,
Lawrence revealed various social diseases under the oppression of mechanical civilization in the form of grotesque, especially in his short stories. The Rocking-Horse Winner was a famous short story created in Lawrence’s later years. The beginning of it was like telling a fairy tale: ”There was a woman who was beautiful, who started with all the advantages, yet she had no luck. She married to 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.” Hester, the only female image Lawrence created in the story was a negative one whose mind had been twisted and whose personality had been distorted because of the money worship. Though she was a mother and enjoyed other’s compliments, she was so cold that she couldn’t love others, even her husband, even her own children. Actually she was a materialistic woman disguised in the cover of a loving mother and wife, but only she knew that at the centre of her heart was a hard little place that could not feel love. It is always said that “desire has no rest”, the mother is such an example. Though she lived in a pleasant house with a garden, with several servants, though she had a
promising husband and three lovely children, though she already felt superior to anyone in the neighborhood, she was still not satisfied and wanted more money to gratify her vanity. When her son Paul secretly gave her a thousand pounds per month from his winnings, she immediately begged for the entire amount. But what did her do with the money? Instead of paying her debts, she continued spending the money on luxuries. This resulted in an even greater need for money and a greater pressure on her son. Though she won a large fortune at last, she was totally a failure because she lost her only son forever. Second, Uncle Oscar who was in a better financial position than his sister was also a negative image. It was him who happened to find Paul’s secret of earning money through gambling, but he didn’t believe in Paul’s gift at first. He just took Paul as an imaginative boy and took his gift as a coincidence. But after talking with both Paul and Bassett and seeing the huge sum of money with his own eyes, he unscrupulously betted his own money using Paul’s tips for his own profit. He was such a selfish man that he didn’t consider for his nephew’s healthy growth but only cared about his personal interest. Third, the child Paul, who is my favorite character in this story and moved me deeply. He was so considerate that he tried everything he could to bring his mother luck, to make his mother happy. But I don’t think he need to do this because his mother was already lucky enough to
have such a sensible son. When his mother complained about her unlucky life, he said “I’m a lucky person” to comfort her. When his mother paid no attention to his assertion, he immediately went off to seek the clue to luck. When Uncle Oscar asked him the way he would spend his winnings, he said” I started it for mother” and decided to give all of his winnings to her. When his mother greedily asked for the whole five thousand pounds, he said “let her have it, then! We can get some more with the other.” I can’t imagine such words came from a little boy. How kind-hearted he was! He sacrificed his life for an unworthy love. Last, let’s come to the young gardener, Bassett. He was a flat image as a minor character. He was the only adult who treated Paul with a serious respect and followed all the boy’s instructions. From the few words, we can see a kind Bassett, a loyal Bassett, a trustworthy Bassett.