Greed In D. H. Lawrence's The Rocking Horse

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The short story “The Rocking Horse Winner” is a classic tale of greed and the dangers of constantly needing to “keep up with the Joneses,” that is still prevalent in today’s society. Through the use of symbolism D. H. Lawrence shows us how in our pursuit of money and material possessions we sacrifice what is truly important, family, love, and true happiness. With the moral being about greed and its destructiveness, the most symbolic aspect of the story is the house. It seems to be haunted by a mother’s greed that is never satisfied, and in her greed she alienates her family and ultimately loses her son. From the outside the family seems to have it all. The parents are described as beautiful people with three “bonny” (par. 1) children, “[that]…show more content…
Both parents had modest jobs, and though they had great aspirations their career ventures never seemed to pane out. The mother never seems to take responsibility for her own actions, but instead blamed her husband for all of her misfortunes. In a conversation with her son Paul; she explained to him that they were poor, because she married a man with no luck. That “[i]f you’re lucky you have money. That’s why it’s better to be born lucky than rich” (par. 17). Paul told his mother that he was lucky, but she only dismissed him with a bitter laugh, and in an attempt to gain his mothers approval he set out in search of luck. The family still lived beyond their means with their lavish lifestyle causing a tension, “[a]nd so the house came to be haunted by the unspoken phrase: There must be more money! There must be more money” (par. 5). The mother’s greed and selfishness has not only consumed her but everything around her. The house has seemed to take on a life of its own from the tensions felt inside, especially by the children, and like a dark cloud looms over haunting the residents inside. It is not a place of love and happiness, but only a hallow vessel that holds all of the mother’s possessions, including her

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