Rocking Horse Winner: Greed And Money

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade January 2002

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Money is like a snowflake that falls on top of a mountain starting a small snow slide that develops into a wild avalanche; greed. "The Rocking-Horse Winner" by D.H. Lawrence illustrates the rapid decent of an avalanche; the rapid decline of those suffering from the infectious disease of greed. The disease spreads from a mother, whose extravagant lifestyle she cannot afford to live, to her son, who is tormented by the lack of money evident in their home. The desire for money steals the love the mother has for her family, and results in the death of her son.

The protagonists of the story are Paul and his mother. The mother, Hester, serves as a foil character to Paul. The mother desires to have money in order to please herself, while Paul wants the money not for himself, but for his mother. The antagonist of the story is greed, which leads to the destruction of Paul and Hester.

They believe that "there must be more money!" Their greed leads to gambling, the tragic flaw in the family. Hester gambles on the father's "good prospects", but his horse never comes in. Because of his prospect to become wealthy, she chooses to "[live] in style." However, Hester and her husband have "small incomes[s]" on which to live, but somehow "the style was always kept up." Unfortunately, debt is the method for upkeep of her lifestyle.

Hester continually yearns for money, creating the beginnings of an avalanche. The avalanche falls around the family, and sweeps up Paul in its furious rush to the bottom. Paul is disturbed by the voices in the house and interrogates his mother as to why the family does not have some of the privileges like other families. Paul reasons that luck is money.