Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"The Rocking-Horse Winner"

Read the story carefully and discuss how D. H. Lawrence uses literary devices such as characterization, repetition, selection and order of details, point of view, irony, and symbolism to convey meaning in the short story.


  1. Alysa Caoile
    Period 5

    Through Paul's conversation with his mother about luck, D.H. Lawrence characterizes Paul as a boy who is determined to prove his mother wrong that he is lucky.

    "Well, anyhow," he said stoutly, "I'm a lucky person."
    "Why?" said his mother, with a sudden laugh.
    "God told me," he asserted, brazening it out.
    "I hope He did, dear!" she said, again with a laugh, but rather bitter.
    The boy saw she did not believe him; or rather, that she paid no attention to his assertion. This angered him somewhere, and made him want to compel her attention.

    This conversation becomes the motivation for Paul to "seek" this luck that he holds, for if he is successful he knows that he can help get the money that his parents desparately need and want.

  2. A lot of repetition in that story. But what does it all mean??? is there symbolism. detail on the race horses, the rocking horse, luck. we'll talk monday!

  3. I noticed that D.H. Lawrence made a lot of repetition about Paul's blue eyes. In the beginning he would describe them as if there were images of flames within, but towards the end he stated how they hardened into something more solid: stone. Following the story, Paul obviously dies. I believe his eyes symbolize this, in the beginning he's a vivid little thing, as he is a child. Lawrence relates Paul's small animated character to something as vivid as the the flames of a fire.However, he lacks of his mother's love. Paul connects this lack of love with the lack of money, which is considerably an adult worry. As little Paul incorporates himself more into the notion of money, his character becomes greedy as an adult all to be approved by his mother's financial expectations her husband can not provide for her. It's as if he were morphing into an adult quickly, nearing the concept of death. Therefore, Lawrence makes use of "stone eyes". When people die, they harden to stone. As Paul quickly developed into adults' worries, he basically grew up in a single aspect, making not only his childish and vivid eyes harden to stone; but also his whole self.

  4. I have a few questions. Who or what causes the death of Paul? Was it the mothers obssesion for money? Was it the haunting voice that was asking for more money or was it the abusive chemistry with gambling?

    Lastly, what kind of third person omniscient do you think it is? Objective or Intrusive??

  5. I think people should focus more on the motivation, not the relationship between the characters, to make a refrence back to modern society.

    We have a mother wishing to have "more money". Its reiterated throughout the whole story and therefore important. Her motivation for wanting more money is thr fact that her husband can't please her becuase he is unlucky and therefore makes them "the poor members of the family".

    As for Paul, yes he is on his rocking horse a lot of the time, and yes rocking horse symbolizes masturbation, but why? He's feels that if he rides it long enough he will know who the winner is making him "lucky". He does this because he wants to prove to his mom that he is lucky, unlike his father. I think the important idea here is that Paul, who is a "prophet" and stongly described as a religious type of guys, is driven my immoral standards. For example when he says "Its as if he heard it from the heavons" page 974 and "God told me" page 972. I think the metaphor about sexual activity is to describe how society is run by desires that are not honorable, much like paul in the story.

    The story could also signify how parents ask too much from thier children since the story revovles around a boy who is trying to please his mothers needs yet she takes everything hes got to offer, killing him. That seems shallow to me but it could be it.

    I don't understand how paul "riding on his rocing horse" would stop the voices from whispering though. Like I know if he rides his horse it will make him realize the winner which will bring money to his mom..but the more he gives the more she wants. Doesnt that just mean the voices will get louder as the desire grows not stop? I guess we'll see on monday.. There is no right or wrong answer on this right? I really hope not...- Andrea Macias Period 6

  6. I agree with Alysa that the conversation in the beginning of the story is what motivates Paul at first to be lucky and try and convince his mother that he is lucky. I wonder though what attract him to the horse races in the first place?
    What makes him so special that he can tell the winner of the derbies so precisely?
    I don't understand how the mother can not love Paul and his sisters, at all. There has to be something there, towards the end she does seem to care about Paul when he is sick and dying but how can she not love them? I think part of the reason Paul becomes so obsessed with the gambling and making more money is that he wants to win his mothers love and also feels like he has a responsibility to do what his father isn't doing for his mother by financially supporting her. I dont see the sexual connection to the rocking horse and the boy.

    I think overall what Lawrence is trying to say is that materalistic things are not what is important and that it can not be the center of your life, like how it has become to Pauls mother.
    -Ariana Velazquez p.4

  7. The theme of the story is that "money is the root of all evil". It can lead to the destruction of forces.

    The story is told in third person omniscient, which can give the readers an insight of the character's thoughts and feelings of the story yet offer commentary. The story starts off in a "fairytale" but diminishes that idea into a story of greed and materialism. We have a mother who has a desire to "want more money", which is repeated throughout the entire story. However, only the children can hear these whispers throughout the house because of their innocence prior to the parents who are already exposed to the greed of money. She doesnt have a care in the world for anyone else but herself and her prosperity. She is married to an unlucky man who does not fit her needs yet does not bring wealth to her. "Luck" to her is something that causes you to have money.

    Paul, on the other hand, tries to give money to her mother by making bets on horse races. He is consistently on a rocking horse, which symbolizes luck and wealth because he is always telling him to take him to places with luck. However, in the group discussion, students stated that the rocking horse symbolized masturbation but the question is how? He tries to prove to his mother that he is lucky unlike his father, but she gives him the benefit of the doubt. No matter how much Paul gives to his mother, she will always want more but she will never find the strength to love her son as much as money.

    Regardless of the quality of love and wealth Paul gives his mother to make her worries and whispers disappear, they will always get louder, which i found ironic. I also found it ironic how they start off in a bad position as poor but then becomes rich towards the end because of Paul, who also dies in the end. They try to maintain an image of which they are rich, but in reality they are not that high in social class. Even with both parents working, they still have a short income yet they still buy expensive things. Its also ironic how everyone thought she was a "good mother" but she and her children both knew that it was untrue.

  8. I agree with Alyssa's statement that D.H Lawrence is trying to characterize Paul as trying to prove his mother wrong by showing that he is lucky. To further this point, I believe that the Mother's love of money is greater then her love for Paul. Paul's ultimate goal is to make his mother love him, as shown towards the end of the story.

    "Malabar! Malabar! Did I say Malabar? Do you think I'm lucky mother? I knew Malabar didn't I?.."

    D.H Lawrence shows Paul's motivation: to gain his mothers love. This quote at the end of the story is showing that Paul thinks that he has finally achieved his goal.

    Situational Irony comes in to place when Lawrence reveals that Paul has died, right after he has accomplished his goal.

    I also agree with what Alana was saying, the theme of the story could be what she said, "Its as if he was morphing quickly."
    D.H Lawrence could possibly be saying something along the lines of enjoying life when you are young, instead of having all the worries that the parents do (with the lack of money)

    "Money is the root of all evil" reminds me of my speech in Olsens!

    Lastly, I was wondering if anyone thought that the "special power" that Paul has is somehow inherited from his mother? I wonder this because towards the end of the story, Paul's mom is having anxiety attacks and knows that something is wrong with Paul and obviously Paul has the ability to see which horse will win the races.

    What do you think?


    "Money is the root of all evil" reminds me of my speech in Olsen's as well!

    In the beginning of this story, the theme of greediness is already set up. Despite her luxurious life with a "pleasant house" and a "garden" with "discreet servants" feeling "superior to anyone in the neighborhood," Paul's mother still wants more money. She just wants to maintain that social status of feeling superior, hence her lucrative spending although she's in debt.

    The repetition of "There must be more money!" is obviously the yearning the family has for money. Maybe the boy's ambition and personal greed to help his mother caused his insanity, the reason for his "wide, hot, blue eyes" as well! ;P

    Rocking horse time! = Sex/masturbation. We all know this from reading "How to Read Lit...", right? As said in class, it's the sexual actions (him riding that horse) that please his mother (predicting the winner for $$$$$) since he wants his mother to know he's "lucky" and have her love him. All of us want our mothers to love us, ofcourse. Since there is no support from the father as well, Paul finds by doing this he has his opportunity to gratify his mother's needs.

  10. As for the boy pleasing his mom, this relates to Oedipus, being said in class. I also find it ironic how the horse which brings "luck" is the cause to Paul's death.

    Could Paul's ambition and personal greed to help his mother be a reason as to why he died? The greed overtakes the mother, and her desire for money excludes love. So him providing the money would hopefully make his mother love him, and him aspiring to achieve that love caused his death?

  11. Btw, I'm Jennica if you don't normally refer to me as "Jeneega" teheheheh.

  12. To add on to the seminar I saw that Basset symbolizes the good times, a way out to beak from the circular need of money, but the need for money just intensified eventually killing Paul like in a dead end job. Just like the movie ghost rider or Hercules, the hero gives up something to save something else.

  13. Rafael Tapia-B period: 3
    As we can observe in this story, there are so many symbols as well as allusions. so many of the names used in here may be references to biblical figures, for example: Joan, Paul. not to mention the gardener is a strong religious follower just as Oscar, when he says in the last line "my God, Hester you’re eighty-odd thousand to the good, and poor devil, he’s best gone out of life where he rides his rocking horse to find a winner". Since we all know from the posted comments that there is sexual content encrypted in the story, I believe the mother symbolizes a Succubus, because she never satisfied her pleasure/greed which can be observed where she is asking for advancement in the money. The son worked his luck out in order to provide his mother with pleasure ending his life.

  14. I agree with Alyssa and Ari in that Paul is trying to prove himself ot be lucky to his mother in hopes that this will bring her love also.
    I was also wondering how the mother and the house were connected. It seemed very obviousl to me that when the mother spent all her money and was feeling her most selfish and greedy is when the house's whispering seemed to get louder and it too had a stronger need for the money. Is this suppposed to be seperate or is the whispering all psychological for Paul? I'm sure he would've been feeding off of what his mother was feeling, and maybe that in turn was making the house seem to haunt him?
    D.H Lawrence wrote this story in efforts to portray the image that satifaction is not found through money. What "satifies" is up for debate, but I think that the author is showing how destructive it can be when we look for happiness in things that disappear. Which is why I also think Paul's mother describes luck as being more important that being rich; because in her mind, luck was something that you couldnt run out of.

  15. I agree that the boy Paul is trying to please his mother, who felt that her children were "thrust upon her." The extent of how the boy wishes to please the mother is up to the reader to determine, but I don't intend to go into the sexual desires of Paul. This boy is deprived of love from his mother and seems to develop differently than most children. The mother associates luck with "lucre" or money. The mother claims that they are the "poor members of the family" because the "father has no luck." The boy sees that this upsets the mother. Wanting to please his mother, he sets off to get money by gambling with horse races, winning lucre for his mother, since lucre and luck are the same.
    The irony in the story is presented at the end, when Paul is able to accurately predict the outcome of the Derby, winning a lot of money, yet ends up dying. Another piece of irony resides in the name of the mother, Hester. There is character from the book The Scarlet Letter named Hester as well, but she is a caring figure. This is unlike the Hester in this story, who is cold towards her children.
    I don't know if this is really something relevant, but Lawrence mentions the eyes a lot. "But Paul only gave a blue glare from his big, rather close-set eyes.""The child, flushed and with eyes blazing, was curiously serene." It shows the nonverbal communication done between people, which can be as strong as verbal communication. In sports, eye contact can be very useful, as it can be in life in general.
    The repetition of the house saying "There must be more money!" gives off a paranoid feel to the character. Money has become almost an obsession to these people. The greed that fuels the family haunts them within their house

  16. I completely agree with Alysa and Ariana about Paul wanting to gain the love of his mother by accumulating more money to their money-seeking family. I feel it is also pretty ironic that Paul wins as much money as he did because in the beginning of the story, he tells his mother that he is "a luck person." Typically, you do not take the assertion of the young boy seriously, making it ironic.
    In response to Mr. Nick Pandaan's questions, I think that Paul's "special power" is inherited somehow. When Paul's mother tells him that her family was a "gambling family," it made me think of biology and statistics. Even though she claims that her family has not been very lucky in the past, there is always a slight chance of having a different outcome(winning money), proving that Paul could deviate from the family norm of losing.
    Though the mother mainly blames the "bad luck" on the father, how do we know that SHE is not the source of bad luck? After all, she was the one who told Paul that her family was unlucky at gambling. Maybe when the father married her, HE inherited the bad luck (like what the mother said of him in the beginning.)
    I believe that the whispering of "there must be more money" is the growing greed of the family, from the mother to Uncle Oscar. For example, when the mother receives the 1000 pounds from their lawyer, you would expect her to be ecstatic after only receiving "several hundred pounds each year" at her job. Instead, greed overcomes her, and she goes to the lawyer asking for the other 4000 pounds. Uncle Oscar shows signs of greed also. He is indirectly characterized by his words and actions. For example, he wants win some bets on horse racing knowing that Paul is good at it, "give me a tip for the Lincoln." Another important example of how Oscar shows his greed is when he places the bet on Malabar even when he knows Paul is very ill. The more whispering of the house= more pressure on Paul to predict another winner and increase his winnings. This pressure makes Paul somewhat nervous because towards the end of the story, his predictions are not correct. I find it ironic that when Paul begins to "slump" on his winning streak he gets more nervous, but when he finally makes a correct decision, he dies but wins a lot of money.
    I have a couple of questins. Towards the end of the story, how does the mother know about the gambling that Paul, Bassett, and Uncle Oscar do(I thought Paul wanted it a secret)? Does anybody else hear the whispering house besides Paul and his sisters?

  17. Junaj Perez- Period tres

    As I scroll down and read through everyones comments, I agree with many of the insights made. From what Tawnie said, I believe that the story incorporates the elements of a fairytale as well as a fantasy and fable. A moral is presented but is without preachment. Although, it highlights how greed and materialism can be damaging. It also presents unfounded events such as the boy’s ability to foretell the winners of horse races, the whispering house. I agree that D.H. Lawrence wrote the story in omniscient third person point of view and is objective, revealing the thoughts of the characters to the readers.

    It becomes clear to me how the boy's character develops by the end of the story. Following with Alana's comment on the repeatition of Paul's blue eyes, the author definitely symbolizes and foreshadows his adulthood going forth towards his death in the statement of how they have hardened into something solid. Im surprised that Lawrence didnt make the boy's eyes green, which would symbolize money and its importance in pursuing his mother's love. Speaking of the lack of love the mother owes to her son, it also characterizes Paul to be determined but with feelings of neglect. Thus, reacting to being mentally unstable and sort of insane. The mothers constant greed has been reflected upon her son's gambling problem as he strives to be loved. As the mother wants more money, the son wants more lovin'! Referring back to "How to Read Lit..." this story does contain the concept of masturbation. It suggests that the rocking of the horse brings sexuality into play. The allusion of Oedipus does make sense for the reason that its about a son's romantic obsession with his mother. I remember hearing that the whole story is really a metaphor of the son wanting to have sex with his mother?! o.O nassssties

    In the end, Paul was lucky to pick the winning horse everytime; therefore, he was a lucky one. But dying in the end was his misfortune after all (ironic, ain't it?! hmmm) and his mother still didnt come to the epiphany (vocab word! ;D) that she took her son for granted.

    P.S. wooo Mr. Olsen & that presentation i improved ;P

    PERIOD 6

    This story is told from a third person omnicient point of view, leading the narrator to reveal the thoughts of the characters. This way you can see it from all views of the characters.

    In the beginning of the story, the Paul questions his mother as to why they don’t have the luxuries of other members of their family. The mother answers that they are the poor members of the family because his father has no luck and that luck is what causes you to have money. Throughout the story, luck is equated to money. This conversation between Paul and his mother causes him to search for so called “luck.” This is when he discovers that his rocking horse can “take him to where there was luck, if only he forced it.” As there are many interpretations to what the rocking horse represents, most will agree that
    The horse symbolizes luck and money. Paul uses his horse and the “powers” it gives him to get luck and money to please his mother as he connects the lack of money in his family with the lack of love he receives. If his family does not have luck, they will not have money and he will not get love. This shows a reversal of roles between the father and son, as the father is barely mentioned and Paul tries to take place of his father in supplying money for the family and receiving love from his mother.

    There is also a repetition of the phrase “There must be more money, there must be more money!” These whispers seem to get louder during Christmas, when “the expensive and splendid toys filled the nursery” and after Paul has anonymously given his mother 5 thousand pounds which she uses to buy extra things such as furniture and tutors, etc. That is likely because they get greedy and use the money to fund their lavish lifestyle instead of paying off their debts. The children are the only ones in the house who hear these whispers and the parents are oblivious to them. This shows that the parents are corrupted by money because of their expensive tastes, and the children hear them because they are still innocent and have not been corrupted by greed.

    At the end of the story, before Paul dies his mother feels anxious and worried about the children, especially Paul. When she find Paul he is “madly surging on his rocking horse” and after he screams “It’s Malabar! It’s Malabar!” he crashes to the ground and it says “and she, all her tormented motherhood flooding upon her, rushed to gather him up.” This shows that in the end the mother has changed as in the last paragraph Lawrence has revealed the mother’s name, Hester, which in some way humanizes her. Also, Paul’s death after riding the rocking horse is ironic because he used the horse to find luck and wealth for his family but eventually the horse lead to his demise. As this story is a fable, it ends in the realization or lesson that the search and longing for money corrupts people.

  19. I think the main idea behind the "Rockinghorse Winner" is that it was focusing/putting too much emphasis on personal possessions at the expense of personal relationships.
    repetition: in the story it stated that the house became haunted by the unspoken phrase "there must be more money! there must be more money!" and again it was stated behind the shining modern horse, behind the smart doll's house.. the voice started to whisper again.

    Paul was trying to get more money for his mother so that she would love him, because he knows that her desire is for things and not for him. The mom was always really greedy and the boy would always bet on the winning horse and he would give her the money. The pursuit of "good luck" for his mother leads to him going insane.

    The lesson to be gained here from reading the story is that people are more important than any other possessions. There will never be enough things, and no posssession will ever be more important than someone. When thats one's focus, frustration will eventually take over. Paul's motive to please his mother shows that the focus should be on individual relationships not on things.

  20. After the socratic seminar we had in first period, I thought of a few more questions.

    First off, if the mother thinks that they're poor, why do they have a nurse and gardener? Wouldn't she think that they could save money by not having either one? I know that they are rich, but if they did not have to pay the nurse and the gardner, wouldn't she at least feel better?

    Secondly, in class we discussed the possibility that Paul was posessed. I was wondering if the devil (that is repeated a few times in the story) is taking Paul over through the Rocking Horse?

    Another question is the voices. In first period it was not talked about as much, so I was wondering if anyone else could explain where the voices are coming from? Could it tie into my idea of the devil taking Paul over?

    What do you all think?

    P.S To everyone that is bringing up Mr. Olsen, I'm in his class right now (I'm his second period aide) and he is happy that "what he does is actually being remembered."

  21. As i read through people's comments i agree with nick and jennica.. "Money is the root of all evil" from the speeches in Olsen's.
    I also noticed Lawrence made a lot of repetition about Paul's blue eyes..
    I would go into detail.. but my avid teacher is kicking me off the computer now because tutorial time is over or else she's going to call my mom, agggh

  22. To answer Nick's first question, I think that having both an nurse and a gardener would make the mother feel rich. Not only does she want to be rich but also wants to look rich to everyone else. It's no good to her just to have money by itself.

    Also, I don't really think that the devil is trying to take over Paul through the rocking horse. It's more like he's is tempting Paul with the allure of money and greed. At first, Paul is betting so he can make his mother happy but when he gets his first taste of cash, he becomes greedy like her and wants even more and then he dies.

    My question is the mother a dynamic or static character? Does the death of Paul really change her or is she only surprised at him?

  23. In response to Nick's question, the reason the family had a nurse and a gardener is because they wanted to seem rich and they had "expensive tastes." They wanted to live as if they had money, and they wanted everyone else to believe it as well. I think keeping up appearances was more important to them than being financially stable, since it seems that there was plenty they could do--many luxuries they could live without--to get out of debt. (Or at least some of it.)

    I can believe that Paul was in some kind of communication with the devil while on the horse. But at the same time, someone in my class (4th period) brought up that maybe he was talking to God. Paul once mentioned that God told him he was lucky (pg 972), and I noticed that there were references to Bassett, who mostly followed Paul, being religious and regarding Paul's gift as something sent from heaven.

    Also, I think the voices weren't coming from the house itself. They were mostly a way for the author to represent the family and their anxieties.
    I thought it was interesting that the voices grew even louder once Paul's mother had received the money. At first I thought it was because she wasted all the money and put the family in even more debt. But now I wonder if it's possible that the voices grew louder because of Paul. Maybe the voices represented how desperate he was to "know" for one of the races so that he could make up for the money he just gave his mother.

  24. I have also noticed that the author refers back to Paul's blue eyes a lot. I think the blue eyes symbolize innocence of Paul. Even though Paul did gamble, it was his mother that drove him to keep gambling in order to make money.
    I think that there are the people that influenced Paul to be this way. I think the first motivation for Paul to keep gambling was his mother. Since Paul would always hear the words "Must have more money" he probably thought he could win the love from his mother by earning money through the derbys. Another person that motivated PAul to keep gambling was the gardener. He called him Master and kept bragging about him in front of his family members to make Paul think that he is lucky. I think that was why he kept wanting to gamble with the gardener. I think another person could be the uncle. At first the uncle thought the gardener and Paul was joking but as soon as he realized that he made good money, he joined in with him to encourage the gambling.

    So my questions are these.
    What do you guys think Paul's Blue eyes represent?
    What was PAul's main motivation to keep gambling?

  25. To answer Chris' question about the mother, I think she was a dynamic character. It's hard to tell whether Paul's death truly changed her, but it seems that towards the end, she started having maternal instincts. She constantly worried about Paul and wanted to "rush to him at once, and know he was safe," whereas it was mentioned at the beginning that she mostly resented her children.
    I'm not sure what brought about the change, but I think it definitely occurred. Does anyone disagree?

    Also, I found a lot of irony surrounding Paul's death. First, there's the fact that he died just as his mother finally learned to love him. There's also the fact that in the end, the mother gained a lot of money just as she lost a son.

  26. I think paul's main reason to gamble is to win money so that his mother will take notice of him.

    My question is
    Who does the haunting voice belong to or does it not belong to anyone in the story?

  27. To answer kaven lai's question, the voice doesn't really belong to anyone because it is the house whispering "there must be more money." the children just happen to hear it. The voice started whispering because of the mother's desire for money. Since she believes that the family is unlucky and therefore poor, she desires more money to have a better lifestyle than they already have.

    Going to CelesteM’s comment on paul’s death.
    It is very ironic that paul had to die just at the time that his mother started loving him. But paul had to have died because he was the one gambling to gain his mother’s love and much like in The Pearl by John Steinbeck, the parent(s) are the ones who have to suffer with the lose of their child for being so greedy.

    But anyways, I agree too, about the irony of Paul's death. Because while Paul was lucky that he could "see" who the winner would be in those races, he was unlucky in that he died right after he won a lot of money.
    As for that theory that Celeste brought up about Paul talking to God? It makes sense and I agree :) I mean, they mention God & the Devil enough that it may just be important.

  29. This whole thing about the rocking horse maybe being like, masturbation may be true, & I can definitely see how people would get that. But i don't think that that was the point. I think the son was just driven to satisfy his mother. His mom is just so unhappy with his "unlucky" father. & then we know that she didn't even care for them (the children, i mean). they could see it in each other's eyes. And so Paul was just driven to satisfy his mother with money & show him that he WAS lucky & that he could provide her with money. So I don't think that Paul really wanted to replace his father, but really just feel some love from his mom. & i think that towards the end, she does feel love. Towards the end, we read about her concerns growing for her son. & then they finally give the mom a name, too: Hester. & it's like, she's grown a heart. She cares more. she's not as cold as she used to be.

  30. I agree with what “Marissel Per. 1” said about how Paul is just trying to gain love from his mother. All he really wants is it make her mother happy, but in doing that he kind of has to replace his father and be the bread winner of the family. In addition, because the father is never around, Paul would have that Oedipus complex happening because he feels the need to make his mother happy since the father is never seen.

    To answer Han’s questions about Paul’s blue eyes and what they represent, we have to go back to symbolism. In literature, the color blue symbolizes truth, intelligence, or the dawning of life. In this case, it would be truth because Paul is on this rocking horse and he is on this “quest” to find the winner of a horse race. Paul must use his rocking horse to find the truth about the future to make the correct bet. That is why I think they keep referring to Paul’s blue eyes because they represent truth. Answering his second, Paul’s motivation for him to keep gambling is primarily to gain the love and respect of his mother. Paul must have thought that since she was happy with the 5,000 pounds he gave her; more money would probably make her even happier. This, however, would ultimately be Paul’s downfall because his motivation would soon turn into an addiction of sorts and end up killing him in the end. So his MAIN motivation was to generally make his mother happy since his father couldn’t, with his unluckiness and all, but in the end his motives is what causes his death.

  31. so can anyone explain how exactly Paul died? Because he just fell off the rocking horse and them he died. Is there some sort of cause of death that can be proven or is is death just the consequence of the mother being greedy?

  32. to kennethramos concerning paul's death: i think the cause of the death was like him overworking his brain. he just pushed too far & his brain couldn't handle it. you know in that one indiana jones movie with shia labeouf (i think that's it, i may be wrong, like so completely off that it's embaressing) & it's like that one person gaining all this knowledge at the very end & it kills him? he just couldn't handle it. & i think it's sort of the same here. he's seeing things that he really shouldn't know & he's pushing himself to find these answers. & yeah. :D haha. that's just what i think. pay me no mind if this sounds.... yeah.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. i agree with kennethramos the motivation behind Pauls gambling was so he could please his mother and in some way make her love him , something hes always wanted . Although they dont state it , he may have felt that he needed to take the role of his father and provide for his family to keep up there style with there expensive taste . I do agree that pauls main motivation was to keep gaining money for his mother because in his eyes thats what made her happy , in the end killing him .I think the house talking to him , telling them they needed more money was also an added pressure on him , he was only a young boy with what he felt was a huge burden on his shoulders , trying to keep the image of them bein a rich as well as trying to please his mother and gain her love . I think all the pressure he faced ultimatly killed him .

  35. i agree with marissel , i think pauls being overworked & he feels the need to keep on pushing himself to gain knowledge just to make him mother happy which kills him

  36. I have several more questions concerning the Narrative

    -What does the horse really represent?: greed,Pauls luck, or a symbolic foreshadowing device

    -If the mother were to die instead of paul, would the story have a major diffrence in ending?

    -Are there any more "sexual" reference's other than paul's "wild rides" on the rocking horse?

  37. In response to Han's question, I believe that Paul's motivation to continue his gambling is his desire to win over his mother. The mother associates luck with "lucre", meaning money. The mother is obsessed with getting luck and Paul can see her obsession. If he can get his mother luck, which she believes equivalent to money, then Paul has given his mother the one thing she wanted. Given this Oedipus complex that seems to pertain to the child, it seems that Paul seeks to please his mother. So he decides to get her luck.
    I think that Paul's death symbolizes the consequence of greed and money. Being so driven to get the money for his mother, he dies in the process.
    The lack of the father's presence emphasizes the boy's desire to replace his father, who is incapable of doing his fatherly duties such as bringing home the bacon.

    A question from the prompt that we have to discuss: How does Lawrence use characterization within the story to convey the meaning?

  38. In response to Nick's comments, I really don't think that the devil is taking Paul over, I really don't think that is much of the point of the story either. But if that is important, I really don't think that he would be possessed by the devil.
    Also in response to Nick, the mother wants to keep up with her life the way that she knows it. She keeps the nurse and the gardener, because well who else would do the things they do if they weren't there. She probably wouldn't want to have to explain to friends and family or anyone else why she had to get rid of them, or any other questions that would come up with her doing that. She is trying to keep up with the lifestyle she wants and would like to continue to portray.
    I am still not sure what believe killed Paul. Being overworked, his mother, pressure, or was it just he died just because? Personally I see it as pressure that is not directly put on him by his mother, but that he just feels those pressures, he makes himself believe that they are there. The mother does not really put pressure on him to take initiative the way that he did. But it does seem like Paul thinks he has an obligation to satisfy his mother with money.
    I also agree with Vanessa that not only did he feel obligated to do support his mother financially but that he was trying to win her love. It is stated at the beginning of the story that the mother does not love her children and that they kids knew it. I can not imagine how that would feel for Paul and his siblings to know their own mother didn't love them.
    Referring to Darien's questions, would someone please refer to the sexual part of this story, because I am so lost as to how it relates. I am starting to see that you can perceive that from some of the story, but what would the meaning be of any sexual references?
    -Ariana Velazquez period: 4

  39. I agree with Marissel that it had nothing to do with him trying to replace his
    father. I think he wanted to just be accepted by his mother and be cared for by
    her. However, I do not think she truly cares for him in the end. This because
    she does not acknowledge that Paul told her he was "lucky" before. This probably
    caused Paul to finally give up at the end and die.

    Does anyone know why the mother's response to Pauls death was not explained at
    the end? Why did the author choose to exclude the mother's feelings and actions
    after the son's death?

    I think the whole idea about masturabtion and gambling was to bring out human
    pleasure. In my opinion, the author is trying to tell us that these things will
    not really give you true happiness.

  40. TO; aabra

    The chracterization; the mothers greed for more money and the son's gambling and desire to gain his mothers affection help convey the meaning "money is the root of all evil"

    TO; ari

    What i mean is what other references aside from the son rocking wildly on the rocking horse, Like how the whisper "there must be more money" gets louder as the story progresses

  41. to Darien:
    yeah, uhm.. while we were listening to the story during class. the lady on the tape saying "there must be more money, there must be more money" is the only thing that I found sexual the first time around, haha.
    Did anyone else think that? :P
    But yeah, okay.. I get what you are saying now... I think that the whisper gets louder because as Paul keeps winning more money and his mom keeps spending more money Paul becomes more aware and more paranoid of the money.

    Another thing I wondered about was that, it says in the story that everyone in the house can hear the whisper but that no one mentions it. Is that supposed to mean that everyone literally hears it and the house is haunted or something? Or is it just figuratively and they are saying everyone in the house is aware of the families financial position?

  42. i agree, with Kaitlyn, however i believe that in addition to her not believing in Paul's luck as the cause of his death, i would say that paul's mother does not actually love Paul in the end like Kaitlyn said, but she was instead compensating for the guilt she felt about not loving Paul and made up for it by being overly motherly.

    i believe the author does not feel the need to mention the mother's feelings as they are implied and this leaves us to think about the implications of her causing Paul's death.

  43. I agree with the quote "Money is the root of all evil" relating to this story.In the beginning of the story you can already see signs of greed through the repetition of the house whispering "There must be more money!There must be more money!". The conversation between the mother and the little boy talking about why there the poor one in the family and the mother saying because the father has no luck influences the little boy to earn money for the family. The little boy seems highly motivated to earn so much money on the betting not for greed but to make his mother happy. Although later on the little boy gets so addicted to making all that money greed takes over him and he just wants to make more and more. Also in the beginning of the story it talks about when the little boys riding the rocking horse you can see his eyes flaing shows how greed was going to take over his body. Also after the mother got the thousands of dollars secretly from the little boy she spent it right away it talks about "new furnishings" and that Paul had a tutor and after she spent it the house whispered even more and louder saying "Oh-h-h, there must be more money. Oh, now, now-w! Now-w-w-there must be more money-more than ever!" shows the greed throughout the house.

  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. to: ari

    A: figurativley, because of the families finacial postion; the characters know they're poor, some (like the mother at first) haven't found ways of acquring money yet, some (like paul) have found ways like gambling

  46. Miguel Pimentel
    Period 1

    I agree with Marissel. Paul didn't really want the money, and even though he might have realized that he could help his mother out of debt with the money he had won, his main goal throughout the story was to gain his mom's acceptance. I think Hester's mocking of Paul's claim that he was lucky at the beginning of the story had a very negative impact on the kid. From that point on he became obsessed with making money since he misinterpreted the mother's reasoning behind their lack of money. After listening to his mother Paul thinks that being lucky is necessary for money, and therefore happiness. Not only that, Paul comes to believe that in order to be loved you must be lucky/wealthy, since he notices his mother's bitterness at his father for not having enough money, or luck. Therefore, when Paul finally proves that he is lucky, or wealthy, and dies, the author uses this ironic situation to tell the readers that money is not worth being such a worry if it only ends up bringing more pain. The author would probably agree with the Bible quote, “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul.”

    I don't think there's enough evidence to say that Hester did not care about her son's death. It seems obvious that the uncle did not care about Paul since he tries to console Hester by telling her about the money that was left. Hester had actually become increasingly concerned about her son, even though his death is, after all, partly her fault.

  47. i partly agree with marissel. i think that paul, in the beginning of the story, began to gamble because of his motivation of desiring for the attention and love of his mother. However the pressure that he faced is not the only thing that led to his death.
    there were many motivations that drove paul to his death. in the story, the mother tells Paul about how his father is unlucky which is the reason for their family being poor. this made paul want to prove to his mother that he is lucky so that his mother would love him. becuase his mother is obsessed with money to keep their status and luck, paul is driven even more to please his mother. the last motivation is just the joy and excitementof gambling.
    in the beginning of the story, it states that the family had a problem with gambling. i think that this is also partially the fault that led to the young boy's death.

  48. in response to keenth
    Pauls cause of death could possibly be trauma (he fell right?)

    His mothers greed also plays a part, his desire to please her need for money by gambling, but his inablity to do so (near the end of the story)along with his rapid weight loss

  49. i also think that the boy had some mental issues that led him to die in the end because isn't he too young to be doing things like that? i mean seriously i didn't even know that masturbation was until the end of freshman year.

  50. the word "that" was supposed to be "what".

  51. I also agree with Celeste's comment about the mother changing from "resenting" her little boy to soon loving him. In the beginning of the story within the conversations between the little boy and the mother it seems like the mother is annoyed by the boy like doesnt tell him anything. And its funny how she starts to love him as soon as she starts to get more and more money. When the little boy keeps making money the mother starts to feel more and more care for him and starts to love him but all of a sudden he dies before she can actually love the little boy like a real mother should love her real son. Also do you think there's any reason why the moms brother is more in the story then the father of the little boys? seems like Uncle Oscar plays a more significant role in the little boys life than the father.

  52. A summary of what we have of paul:
    -wants the attention/affection of his mother
    -belives that riding his rocking horse will help him find derby winners/ bring him luck
    -his desires corrupt him, causing him to deteriorate mentally and physically, eventually leading to his death

  53. I have a question concerning the irony

    Can we consider that its ironical that Paul wins alot of money, but dies at end of the narrative? That the mother is greedy and realizes that she now has alot of money?

  54. Reading the comments, I agree with Tawnie with the idea of money being the root of all evil. I remember reading The Pearl last year in Olsen's and thinking how it is very similar to this story, aside from the sexual aspects of Rocking Horse. In the story, everyone in Paul's family including the gardener took part in the gambling that overcame Paul. No one stopped it from developing into a huge conflict, but instead played along. In the end, Paul is the one who ends up dying which is like wake up call for the family. Like The Pearl, the son Coyotito had to die for his parents to realize that the pearl, which symbolized wealth, was destroying their family. I think that the rocking horse symbolized the sexual pleasure that Paul constantly craved for. To answer Han's question, Paul's motivation to gamble was the win the love of his mother. When his mother told him that she wants a husband who is lucky, Paul was eager to have luck. I agree with those who mentioned the Oedipus complex and how it plays a part in how Paul feels towards his mother. Paul is determined to win his mother in the end because, according to the Oedipus Complex, Paul feels obligated to protect his mother. His father is an outside force that is preventing his mother from loving him. With that I believe D.H Lawrence left the father out of the story for the reason of being Paul’s enemy.
    With the repetition of "There must be more money!" from the house, it shows how the whole household is obsessed in attaining money. D.H Lawrence writes that the house is constantly crying this phrase which keeps the idea of having money is so crucial instilled into the minds of each family member.
    I don't understand why in the beginning, D.H Lawrence said that the mother married for love but is now different. How did this happen?

  55. why do you guys think that the story was titled "the rocking-horse" and how was this used to convey the author's meaning?
    i think that it was titled the rocking horse because the story was about the problem with money and gambling. the rocking-horse symbolizes masturbation and lust (this symbolizing temptation). once you start gambling and win, you become greedy and is most likely tempted to gamble more. .... in the story, the boy gambles because he wants to please his mother and get love from her. in order to please her and to prove that he is lucky unlike his father, he has to gamble to make money. and in order to find out the name of the winning horse, he needs the rocking-horse. ......
    i think that the author is trying to convey the meaning that money can lead to greed and it may lead to many temptaions that will have consequences. basically, money is one of the most dangerous and scary things in life that people need to be aware of.

  56. To samanthap

    A;She was married out of love, until Pauls father turned into a reckless gambler; thus causing her to constatly greive about money problems, causing the son to follow in his "father's footsteps" for the approval of his mother

  57. Well Frances, I don't think Paul even knew that what he was doing was sexual! Ahah, he will find out when he's older and realize he was a freaky little boy ;P

  58. To Darien D.

    But wasn't the mother a gambler herself? Was she like in denial and didn't want to take blame for any of the problems that happened with her marriage?

  59. A; The mother might have been a gambler, but I doubt it. She's more concerned about her poor status and gaining money, even as going to lengths to compare herself to other parts of her family. she is probably in denial since she has more care of her own problems than her own family.

    I could be wrong though...
    right back at ya

  60. to samantha
    i think he has issues.

  61. As I read through the comments, I agree with the overall outcomes. To answer Samantha's question, yes. She was a gambler! She used Paul in order to gain her wealth.

  62. Can we also say that Pauls's uncle Oscar, also represent some form of greed aswell?

    When Paul dies, Oscar states "My God, Hester, you're eighty-odd thousand to the good, and a poor devil of a son to the bad." Paul's death really is not something which affected the Uncle because he tries to comfort Hester by telling her how much money she has.

    Am I Right?

  63. Summary of symbolism to the theme:

    -The wooden rocking horse is supernatural and it is what Paul uses to find out the winning race horses. Paul is determined to achieve his mother's acceptance (the money for her) by finding the winners. However, the rocking horse ends up taking Paul's life.
    -The whispering in the house symbolizes the desire to stay in the upper class. The family needs to have the best things in order to keep their stature (which includes money). ("There was never enough money,")

    Thus="Money is the root of all evil"

  64. In regards to Nikko! I think the mother's brother is more involved in the story because he may symbolize a father figure since the story states "she married for love, but love turned to dust" (too lazy to look if that's even the quite, but along of the lines of this...) Also concerning the ideals of the "Oedipus Complex". Since the father's not there to give support.

  65. so basically no one ever loved paul or cared about him. he was only used to attain money.

  66. I agree with Miguel about Paul's craze not being about the money. His main concern was to prove to his mother that he can be "lucky" when she told him he couldn't be. Because he wanted to keep it a secret from her, i think he actually had good intentions. Like the saying "character is what you do when nobody is looking." However, based on the fact that Paul was a good person, i believe the meaning of the story is that money can corrupt the best of us.

    A question i have: what is the connection between the rocking horse and sex? i didn't understand that at all. is it just because he was rocking back and forth really hard like a maniac? i dont know.

    Another: how is it possible for a mother to have to love for her children? where are her motherly instincts? aren't those supposed to naturally come out when you have kids?

  67. the oedipus complex for the rocking horse winner:

    -The Son followed in his gambling fathers footsteps and dies (oedipus kills his father/realizes the prophecy is true and kills himself)

    -Paul's greed "blinds him" as he gambles his way for his mother's acceptance (oedipus marries his mother)

    anything else needed to be clarified?

  68. Frances,
    Well, the Uncle was the only one who atually showed some sympathy for Paul when he died. But since Paul was born into a family that gambles, he was basically born into a corrupt family. Oh and how I said he'll find how he was a freaky boy when he gets older was stupid. I forgot he dies, HAHAH !

  69. in response to jenica, i don't remember anything about Hester being a gambler. Did it really say that?

  70. Rafael Tapia-B period 3
    today someone asked who was the victim of the story, and i thought maybe somehow it was Rocking Horse. since its an allegory,the horse could symbolize luck. if the horse was worn down as it was described in the story, we can interpret it as if the boy exhausted his luck. Now if you want to see it in a sexual aspect, we can say the horse was a victim of rape by Paul, or as an object to guide his "sexual behavior"

  71. To ariel.s.

    -There are sexual references, the son's wild rocking, the whisper of the house getting louder/sensual as the novel progress's, and when the son is caught riding the rocking horse at the end, e.t.c.

    -The mother main concern is not just money, but her own social status. This is also strenthend by her "gambling husband" She does however have some love, like when she was worried about her sons condition/ weight loss near the end of the narrative.

  72. Did Paul know that the mother spent all that money he gave her on expensive luxuries ?

  73. With his concerns about derbies and his mother's acceptance: doubt it...

  74. It's so unfair to Paul to live with a family that suffers from severe gambling. Do you think that the author is also writing for other kids who live with families similar to this one?

  75. another question: how exactly did Paul die? Was it just a mental breakdown? His mother walked in on him maniacally riding the rocking horse, and he was frantically screaming "malabar! its malabar!" Was it just the overpowering need to win? psychotic meltdown? or...?

  76. This is in response to Kreitz question, posted on November 22, 2009 11:00 P.M.

    Who or what causes the death of Paul? Was it the mothers obssesion for money? Was it the haunting voice that was asking for more money or was it the abusive chemistry with gambling?

    Truly all of these are valid causes to Paul's death and all have sufficient evidence to support themselves. But I believe that we should not focus on what directly caused Paul's death, but rather what is the significance of Paul's death itself. D.H. Lawrence could have simply allowed Paul to live and succeed in achieving his goal, but Paul's death is almost essential to the meaning of the story. If the story were to conclude in a "happily ever after," Lawrence would not be able to stress the meaning of the story, which is the consequences to excessive greed.

  77. To: francis

    "i also think that the boy had some mental issues that led him to die in the end because isn't he too young to be doing things like that? i mean seriously i didn't even know that masturbation was until the end of freshman year."

    The son might have some sort of mental issue, seeing as how he believes that he is lucky/ desires his mothers attention/winning horse races

    we didn't need to hear the last part...period

  78. i'm not going to go into detail, but lets just say i know what it feels like to be born into a family with gambling problems. because its a different type of gambling, i have no way to help my family like Paul does. buuut unlike the story my mommy actually loves me hahaha.

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  80. This in response to Nick's question , posted on November 24, 2009 11:00 A.M.

    Another question is the voices. In first period it was not talked about as much, so I was wondering if anyone else could explain where the voices are coming from? Could it tie into my idea of the devil taking Paul over?

    There a variety of ideas of where the voices that whisper "there must be more money!" are coming from. In my opinion I only make sense of two ideas of what or who projects the voices throughout the house. The most common assumption I hear is the "voice" being a spiritual representation of the greed. As Paul wins more money through gambling the house's voice gets stronger. Makes sense right? My initial assumption of the "voices" in the house was simply the mother's mourning for more money echoing throughout the house. It states in the beginning of the story that all three children could hear the "voices". So I assumed that if it was a spiritual voice, then only Paul would be able to comprehend the "voices".

    In conclusion the voices can be comprehended in many ways, similar to how many different meanings can be created. The "voices" can be viewed as a representation or symbol, or an actual voice being projected by a character in the story.

  81. i think its interesting that the children were able to hear the voices, but not the mother. (someone in 6th period said that, i dont know if its right) but why would that be? perhaps she's so accustomed to hearing them that she has just toned them out?

  82. In a religous perspective the mother could be compared to the roman catholic church back at the day, since they both imply their own ideas to the heads of their offspring. Both the mother and the church made their children believe in what their leader said. And in some cases the ruler becoming rich through the faith of their people, like the mother through her child and some corrupt churches through the tips of the people at church. This idea of control through their ideas was emphasized through the repetition of "there must be more money!" again this being one more interpretation.

    5th period kevin herrera

  83. From reading all the comments, I believe that universal theme is that love for money can be a very corrupt thing if not controlled. If there are outside influnces that encourage such actions involving only money, the situation only escalades into a destructive issue. With unnecessary love for money, not only do self respect deteriorate, but love for others, and the self control die along with it.

  84. Just wondering, but doesn't it seem that the mom is perpetuating the boy's gambling problem? I think that the uncle is still rude for still betting while the boy gets sick, but i think the main problem was the instatisfaction of the mother. She is never pleased, which means that Paul isn't either. This leads to him going basically crazy over gambling.
    So Paul is around thirteen i think, based off that he is going to go to Eton, the prestigous English school. Considering that he never felt loved by the mother, does anyone think this may have affected him pyschologically? This is the teenage time where children are developing and thiss child is with a cold mother. I think this caused him to be a little eccentric.

  85. I agree with Ahmed... and Samantha...
    but I would like to continue with the comparison of the child being the reflection of the mother.
    An example is Grendel, from beowulf, who was half human half monster, not being his fault being that way, just as Paul was psichologically deformed by her mother. His eyes were cold as stone, the eyes are a window to the heart, and the mother´s heart was described as unhuman, or stone-like, reinforcing the idea of the child becoming what the mother was and wind up miserably dying in pressure to please his beloved mother.

  86. It was brought to my attention that there was a sexual aspect to the story, when Paul was riding his rocking horse. Honestly I did not catch it my first time reading through the story, and even after it was pointed out to me I had trouble understanding how the subject of masturbation was related to the story, but soon enough I could understand to some degree.

    My question to you is although most perceives the riding of the rocking horse a reference to sexual subjects, did D.H. Lawrence intend to make a reference to sexual aspects? If so, what meaning does it provide to the story?

  87. I agree with Aabra on Paul being a little eccentric. Children are usually loved by their parents because the parents are really attatched to them. Paul's mother ,however, seems to not love him like a mother should which seems inhumane. Therefore Paul seems to gamble in order to make money for his mother. He hopes to win love from his mother by making more money but the mother does not seem to be satisfied with it.

    Another question that I have is What does the Rockinghorse represent. I think it represents the limitations of Paul because the rocking horse does not go any where when Paul rides it. What do you guys think?

  88. To answer Ariel Showalter's question pertaining to the children hearing the voices and not the mother, I think that D.H. Lawrence made her not hear the repeated "There must be more money" because she was the one who introduced it to the family along with the father. I say that the mother and father introduced the unspoken phrase to the family because in the story, the parents attempted so many times to get more money but they always fail and therefore, they try again to seek for more money, which makes it sound like there is more money out there. Also, I think that the parents introduced it to the family because in the beginning of the story, it seemed like they had a lot of money and when the parents started realizing that they were short in money, they still have extravagant possessions like their clothes, which I think is also ironic because if you are short in money, most likely the way you would dress is not as fancy as how the parents did in the story. In addition, I think that the parents were not able to hear it around the house because they could probably sense it in their own mind that they needed more money; something that automatically comes to their mind because they know that they need more money. On the other hand, I think D.H. Lawrence made the children hear the unspoken phrase because then maybe they can make a solution to getting more money. Like what Paul did, he won a lot of money by gambling and he was the solution to their shortage in money. I also think that because the parents tried so many times to earn more money and they always fail for every attempt, the unspoken phrase is something they did not have to hear because even if they hear it they would probably fail. Through the parents' actions, it seemed like they attempted to acquire more money and because they are parents I think it is understood that they need to provied for the family, which I also think is a reason why they did not hear the unspoken phrase. The unspoke phrase I think is something the parents did not have to be aware of because they should sense it already by the way their life was moving and by the way they fail to do something--all this refers to how they should know that they need money and that there must be more money.

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  90. So I completely forgot that the online socratic seminar was due tomorrow morning and I really hope someone sees this! I don't know if it was just me, but when I finally understood the short story in class, it reminded me of the Lottery. I think both of their titles were misleading and were also very ironic. Both of the titles describe something relevant to winning, which is usually a positive connotation. Despite their titles, both stories ended in a tradgedy because in the Lottery, the winner was murdered and in The Rocking Horse Winner, Paul dies a sudden and unexplicable death. Does anyone think these stories share any other similarities other than irony and suspense?

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  92. To answer Han's question on what the rocking horse represents, I think that it represents Paul's luck because the horse is what got him into the whole gambling and with this, he makes thousands of money. Also, with his luck, he was able to, I guess prove, that he is the lucky one in the family.
    However, I also think that the horse represents evilness because at the end, the horse is the cause of his death.

  93. Answering JR's question, i think the pleasure coming from masturbation relates to money. In the way that the mother's greed is coming from the pleasure she gets when owning a plentiful amount of money. But all she does is spend it on materialistic things rather than the bills. I find it ironic that the mother will buy unecessary things just to maintain the image that they are rich when really they are poor. From this, she's basically wasting the money and having her son undergo a gambling problem. Another sexual aspect someone noticed was the walls' repetitive saying of "there must be more money." its as if the walls were moaning, and the way the voice increases relates to it saying it wants more money.

    Also, in today's third period socratic seminar, Paul being asked to go to the seaside was mentioned. Water= change, and I agree how this may have been a drastic change in the story. I was able to see how it foreshadows his death in a way. Because after the last horse he had predicted was correct, he died. Still, his death is questioned.

  94. Additionally, I'm not sure what it is about Basett, but I believe he genuinely cared for Paul. I may be wrong, but I feel as if he was faithful to Paul throughout the story. I don't think he used him simply for his ability because he safely kept Paul's winnings and didn't bet as drastically as him. I think that if Basett was simply looking for a source of money, he would have stolen some of Paul's or wouldn't have been so conservative with his own when Paul was "sure" of the winning horse.

  95. I agree with krizandrahalal on the irony and suspense that the Rockinghorse and the Lottery share. Both authors build suspense by describing and using symbols in the story and demonstrates irony in the end where one of the characters die.
    To answer Jrguarnes' question on the rocking horse representing some sexual subjects, I think that the author did put some sexual aspects because How to Read like a professor mentioned it and the author's biography also mentioned the beliefs of the author. It said that the author did not care about the materialistic stuff but rather the relationship between a man and a woman. This can help show that the son is trying to win his mother's love and replacing the father's role. This also reminded me of the story Oedipus and how he killed his father and married his mother.

  96. In response to Ariel’s comment about the connection between the rocking horse and Paul’s sexual actions, I believe that Paul could be slightly autistic. After hearing in class that there was a possibility that Paul showed signs of autistic behavior, I went into depth about the disorder.

    “A child with autism appears to live in his/her own world, has a consistent routine and includes an interest in repeating odd and peculiar behaviors. Persons with autism tend to exhibit repeated body movements (such as flapping hands or rocking) and have unusual attachments to objects. However, many persons with autism excel consistently on certain mental tasks (i.e., counting, measuring, art, music, memory)”

    This explains some of Paul’s strange actions and his attachment to the rocking horse. Paul does “appear to live in his own world” by offering a sort of distant feeling towards the rest of his family. They let him alone. Paul’s “consistent routine” and “repeated body movements” does in fact illustrate Paul’s routine of rocking on the horse to predict the next winning race horse.

    Although this gives insight about the connection between Paul and the rocking horse, we cannot blame the possible autism of Paul. I agree with Miguel that the drive wasn’t focused on gaining money; Paul’s drive was fueled by convincing his mother that he was “lucky”.

    “It’s what causes you to have money. If you’re lucky you have money. 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.”

    Because Paul is at a young age when knowledge is fed to the children by the parents, he believed his mother. Although his mother was focused on bringing in the money, Paul was focused on pleasing his mother.

  97. Regarding Paul's gambling aspect, I think it just runs in the family since in the story, it was mentioned that everyone in the family gambles. I also think that how the mother show no love for Paul affected his growth. If the mother would have diciplined him, then I think that he won't end up dead at the end or even attempted to completely stopped him when she said "It's a bad sign," which is referring to his too much care for these races, then it would have decreased the chance of Paul dying because he would somewhat lessen his care for these races. In addition, the father being so distant and seem like a stranger to Paul also made a negative effect to his childhood life. From some of the comments above, I can infer that a father figure would have been a significant aspect of Paul's life and like what I said, it would lessen the chance of his dangerous actions with the horse or even his crazy perspective of bringing luck to the family or proving that he is lucky.

  98. On Pg. 970 it says "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..."

    So who is the victim?

    I wouldn't exactly say the mother. She surely was not ready for the role she was taking as a parent, because she felt as if the children were "thrust" upon her. Yet I can sympathize with her more because she was pretty ignorant to her problem. Yes, granted there was whispering in the house. Yet how was she supposed to know it was bothering the children? They never complained or told her straight up, and eyes can only tell so much.

    The fact that she felt that the children were finding fault in her can probably be a result of a threat. She wanted to change. So she probably thought that money can change that problem, but she never discussed it. Thus she obsessed over the problem to the point that she could not feel compassion for her children.

    And it sucks even more because her friends and family couldn't even tell that the family had problems.

    I think this whole mess is based upon a lack of communication. If all the characters knew each others problems then the little boy might have not died and gone mad.

    And of all people to blame in the story, I'd blame the dad. Where was he in all this?! What kind of father isn't around to see his son die? Why didn't he give support for his family? Why did he put all the stress on his son and wife?

    Lawrence pretty much leaves the dad out of the story, so most of these questions are left unanswered. But was that on purpose to reinforce the role that the son was trying to take?

    Many people in the seminar agreed that Bassett was like a father figure or a good friend. But would a father figure or a good friend really encourage the little boy to gamble? I found that odd.

    Can there be many themes to this story, like "Money is the root of all evil", "The superiority complex can ruin any relationship", "To much of a good thing is a bad thing", or even "Good communication is essential in every relationship"? What do you think is the dominant theme?

    This is pretty random, but in the autobiography it said that he disliked the spiritual ugliness of mining. Why would it deprive spirituality?

  99. Oh and sorry about the late entry by the way. (x

  100. I still think that, in a way, the mother killed her son. Paul probably died because his anxiety level was too high. If you think about it, a child his age should not have to be the main "bread-winner" and keep a family together. His mother brought on all this stress and pressure that, in the end, killed him.
    The first thing that came to mind in terms of theme is the famous, "Money is the root of all evil." After the seminar, I started thinking that maybe that isn't the main theme. The story doesn't start out with Paul getting money. I think that it's the superiority complex issue. His mom would do anything to get what she wanted. His family had the perfect facade of everything was going well, but the reader knew different.
    I think that Bassett was the instigator in the book. He was nice and looked like a good role model but he also was encouraging him to do things that a young boy shouldn't be doing.
    In the end, I think, Paul turned out to be exactly like his mother. He needed money and needed luck. They were both selfish and it destroyed both of them.

  101. The author of the story uses the repition of "there must be more money" to show how the familyu needed money. I think it can also be the moms greed because she was never satisfied with what she had, she always wanted more. (even after her son gave her $1000 that he had won from gambling, she wanted more)

    The mother Hester did not love her children and therefore, Paul tried to win her heart by betting on the horses in the race and winning money. At the end, he gives his mother about $1000 and she is still not satisfied as we can tell by how the author characterizes her as greedy. I think the mother ultimately kills her son.

    The author is showing in the story that materialism is bad and that people should not be materialistic and cherish the things they have, like family. Also, that greed is not good and that people should be grateful with what they have.

    Irony in the story can be like how the son supports the mother by giving her the money he won from the horse races verses the mother supporting her son which she does not love.

    Finnaly, the mother's name is not given in the beginning of the story until the end, and i think that is when she "becomes a character" in the short story.

  102. has anyone noticed that basset could be a symbol of a basset hound? he is loyal faithful, determined.

    i mean literally a basset hound will track something down until its last dying breath.

    i think that is his role

  103. This comment has been removed by the author.

  104. The obsession for money makes the story end how it does, which proves the point that money has the ability to corrupt humanity.

  105. The real Question is What would you do if you were in this story, Think about it and reply and see if you would try something different


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