Rocking-Horse Winner

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate January 2002

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A family's inability to coincide in harmony can ultimately lead to devastation. This stands true in the stories The Rocking-Horse Winner and The Machine Stops. The family's in both stories display many different problems. These problems lead to the development of various conflicts. Some of the issues in these stories include lack of communication, inability to accept one another, and not realizing what is truly important in life.

Lack of communication amongst family members is one of the main problems encountered in the two stories The Rocking-Horse Winner and The Machine Stops. For example, in The Rocking-Horse Winner the mother and son, Paul, keep many secrets from each other. Paul's secrets add conflict to the story because they separate him from his mother, eventually leading to his death. Paul is able to gamble behind his mother's back, which shows a major miscommunication problem between them. Paul was often afraid to talk to his mother; for example, he says, "I shouldn't like mother to know I was lucky."�

He was afraid she would try to stop him from gambling, or that she would not believe him at all. In the story, The Machine Stops, the setting is an underground called "the machine."� The people live alone in little rooms. They seldom see each other, nor do they wish to, except through the machines videophones. This causes major conflicts between Vashti, and her son, Kuno. Vashti is unwilling to cooperate with her son's wishes for her to come see him. She sees no need to go into the outside world, even to see her son, when the machine can attend to her every wish right from her home.

In both the stories, the mothers did not accept their children. This lead to conflicts within the families. In The Rocking-Horse Winner,