Short Story Comparative Essay - D.H. Lawrence's "The Rocking Horse Winner" and Bernard Malamud's "Angel Levine"

Essay by Ice_CubeHigh School, 11th gradeA, February 2006

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In D.H. Lawrence's short story, "The Rocking Horse Winner", and Bernard Malamud's "Angel Levine", the protagonists are greatly affected by both ethical and emotional problems. As a result, their sense of judgment is victimized due to the effects of their problems. Whether in a story about religion and faith like "Angel Levine" or an extreme story surrounding money and greed like "The Rocking Horse Winner", lessons and notions can be interpreted by the way the protagonists dealt with the issues of their daily lives. In order to understand the problems the protagonists had and the unavoidable mistakes that happened as a result of these problems, one must scrutinize the various problems of each protagonist in "The Rocking Horse Winner" and "Angel Levine".

In these two stories, the protagonists are portrayed as characters that are plagued with both emotional and ethical problems that ultimately harm their sense of judgment.

In "Angel Levine", after his plea to G-d for help, Manishevitz was greeted by a black angel, Angel Levine, who was supposedly sent by G-d to attempt to help Manishevitz. However, the physical appearance of the angel was surprising to Manishevitz, as the angel was black, skinny, and ironically, Jewish. This portrayal of an angel did not correspond to what Manishevitz had in mind, and caused Manishevitz to be very hesitant towards believing that Levine was an actual angel. He did not trust him, nor believe Levine's proclamation of being Jewish. After sending off the black angel onto the street, one might ask the question of what exactly could Manishevitz lose by believing Levine that he was an angel and was sent to help Manishevitz. Undoubtedly, Manishevitz is depreciating what he has got in his hands and the opportunity given to him by...