"The Rocking Horse Winner," by D. H. Lawrence, was first published in Harper's Bazaar magazine in July 1926 and includes many similarities to Lawrence's own life. The story's financial strife, domestic relations, and sentiments toward love are paralleled by his real life and are affected by a desire for money.
The financial situation of the family in the story has resemblances to his own. In the story, the mother attempts to live in a higher social position than they can afford. This leads to a shortage of money and is emphasized by the whispering of "There must be more money." In Lawrence's life, his mother Lydia also had a desire for social status. She believed that through her children's success, she could somehow reclaim her family image, which was lost after her parents' financial disaster. As a child, Lydia had worked at lace drawing for the lace industry, and later as an adult opened a clothing shop to supplement the family income.
The mother of the story briefly worked in a studio with an artist, sketching furs and dress materials to bring additional money as well.
Domestic relations in the story are also similar to his real life. The father of the story is only vaguely present at the beginning; Lawrence's father became increasingly absent in their lives. Working by day and drinking at night, Arthur Lawrence was alienated and treated by his wife as a "drunken ne'er do well," even though they never did without. In the story, the mother felt that the reason for them being poor was because she "married an unlucky husband," and blamed him for bad luck in financial prospects even though they lived better than most.
Love expressed in the story also has a similarity to his life. His mother married...