The Rocking-Horse Winner

1368 Words6 Pages
Love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person. To love somebody isn’t just a strong feeling. It is a decision, a judgment, and a promise. Positive parental-child love is crucial for the development of a healthy child. However the positivity parents wish to show towards their children can be clouded by goals they wished to fulfill in their own lives. Often, a parent will use their child as a second chance for them to succeed in some aspect of their life that they never could. This theme is very prevalent in the stories “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan, and “The Rocking-Horse Winner” by David Herbert Lawrence. In “Two Kinds” a child is overwhelmed with doubt when her mother pushes her too hard to succeed. In “The Rocking-Horse Winner” a child…show more content…
The mother in this story, “f[eels] [her children] had been thrust upon her, and she could not love them… when her children were present, she always felt the center of her heart go hard… they read it in each other’s eyes.”(pg.352) The mother of this family completely revolves her life around material possessions and wealth. If it does not concern a dollar bill, it does not concern her. She has everything she truly needs, a husband, children, a house and food, yet it is never enough. She needs more money, she needs the most money, and that is what she teaches her son Paul. One day he asks her why she feels they are poor and she replies that her husband has no luck. Paul continues on to ask, “Is luck money, mother?”(pg.353) She then tells him, “If you’re lucky you have money. That’s why it’s better to be born lucky than rich. If you’re rich, you may lose your money. But if you’re lucky, you will always get more money.”(pg.354) Paul consumes himself with this idea, “He wanted luck, he wanted it, he wanted it.”(pg.354) Paul’s belief is that the only way he would ever gain his mother’s love would be by showing her how lucky he is. The walls of their house echo, “There must be more money! There must be more money! The children could hear it all the time, though nobody said it aloud.”(pg.353) The constant energy around their home is that there is never enough money. Even though…show more content…
Parental-child love should be present from the day they are born, not earned through success. Eventually Jing-mei sees this and is able to repair her relationship with her mother. Although Paul never has a chance, his mother’s love is not unconditional. Paul’s mother is cold hearted; her love is selfish and almost psychotic. For both children, parental-child love is a great motivator towards the actions they choose to take. However, Paul and Jing-mei take two very different paths. Paul would not give up, he could not give up, and he would do whatever it took to gain his mother’s love; even perhaps sell his soul for a little luck. Jing-mei did give up; she felt she was never good enough so why bother trying. She convinces herself that all that really mattered is asserting her own will, her right to fall short of expectations (pg. 406). Jing-mei felt that falling short of expectations caused her mother to hate her, but later in her life when she is wiser, comes to the realization that she never needed to earn her mother’s love, for it was always there. Paul’s corrupt ambition kills him, whereas Jing-mei’s stress and incentive teaches her great

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