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 Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner

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emramos



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Registration date : 2006-09-10

PostSubject: What psychological undertones are at work in this story?   Sat Sep 16, 2006 8:53 pm

A few psychological undertones that I recognized in this brilliantly written short (meaning in length not curt in meaning) story were the effect that words and actions have on young children and their eventual demise. Whcih lead me wonder if as humans do we not bring much of our own demise upon ourselves? Had the mother not focused so intently on the money problem, a problem that she created, her son would not have in turn been so engulfed by the lack of money. The mother not only fostered the situation she helped it to grow as she kept spending all the money that the son had won making him desperate for more money. The mother's desperation became his and her actions were the roots of his actions even his death. The mother is to blame for the death, for she did not think about how her son would respond to her words. Is that not a story or a moral be it minor to the story as a whole? We must look for these phychological undertones in all the literature we read because they are hidden in the test and often times relate to our own lives.
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julie_m1



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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Sat Sep 16, 2006 11:53 pm

I loved the ending of the story because it was so... odd. I know that whenever anyone mentions a rocking horse, I will see a little boy literally riding to death on a toy. It's a creepy idea, that our childhood amusements combined with a desire to please could kill us. I cannot think of any other way Lawrence could have ended the story because Paul would never be able to give up his obsession.

I generally dislike stories that have unrealistically happy endings. If Paul hadn't died in such a disturbing fashion, the story could be the basis for a bedtime story. And really, who would want that?
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[ s y n n e ]

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Registration date : 2006-09-08

PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Sun Sep 17, 2006 4:40 pm

6. What do you think about the ending of the story?

I think the neding was great - i was actually expecting that. But when i pictured him - grown up on his rocking horse, it was kind of ackward, have a older boy on a rocking horse and such. But I wasn't expecting to have the mother care about her son - I thought she didn't love them, like she said in the begining. But it was nice to see the relationship grow - even though it was sort of superficial.
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kjones4



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PostSubject: The Rocking-Horse Winner   Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:22 pm

This short story is all about the setting. Yes the relationships between mother and father as well as mother and son were also important, the story would be half of what it is without the whispering house. I think someone has mentioned this before but...Paul hopes that with some "luck" and money the voices in the house will stop. Instead, more money only magnifies the voices until they are almost unbearable. I believe the house itself represents greed. No matter what, how many, or how much someone has, they will always want more. The mother wants more money, Paul wants more luck, the father just wants to be worth something. All their want and greed leads to the boy's predictable death. Mother finally got her money, but only at the expense of her son's life. Now honestly, is it really worth it?
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DieaEruP.2



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PostSubject: resonse to the ending   Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:50 pm

I accidentally typed P.2 instead of 1 and don't know how to change it. Regarding the story, in my opinion the ending was peculiar. I find it incomprehensible for the D.H. lawrence to have the child die and especially the way he did. What would be the purpose/point of the child droping dead ? I felt sorry for the boy, and how all he wanted was his mother's affection and prove that he was lucky.

Dieanira
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Goodman

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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Sun Sep 17, 2006 9:37 pm

I think he had the child die on purpose. I'm not sure what this purpose was, but I'm sure he had one. Perhaps it was meant to provoke thought from the reader? Why did the child die? Was there a reason? Maybe, maybe not.

-my $0.02
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GabyA

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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Sun Sep 17, 2006 9:51 pm

The mother-son relationship between Paul and his mom seemed to be very disfunctional and based on what the mother's opinion of a perfect relationship should be. To me it seemed like she was trying to mold her boy into the man that she wanted him to be rather than actually caring about him or his needs. She was very focused on herself and her own standards about her family, creating a relationship with her son that caused him to feel he was not good enough for her.
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JeffAlmario



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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:03 pm

I think that father's role in story was to compare the son's success with him. Earlier in the story, the mother described the father's lack of luck in a bitter way. It motivated the son to become what the father was not able to do, be lucky and earn money. In a way, the son strived to not be like his father. He wanted to be better, and luckier, so that his family could live a happier life.
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Tsprague6



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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:24 pm

In my opinion, the end of the story was a big dissapointment. Although the boy was going behind his mother's back throughout the story, he was only doing so with good intentions. His family needed the money, and so he did whatever it took to try to solve this problem. I sort of understand where the mother was coming from when she got upset with all of the money that was suddenly appearing, but I wish she would've appreciated it a little more. I thought that because the boy was trying to simply help his mother, that in the end his good deeds would be rewarded. But in fact, it was the exact opposite. He became so overwhelmed with the money he had earned that he became somewhat possessed and died.
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mhandf12



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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:03 pm

The setting really is a sort of prelude to the actions that are about to take place. The car ride with his uncle is the sealed environment where he can confide with his uncle and tell of all his predictiions. The lively and exciting atmoshpere of the races alludes to all the winnings and good fortune of the boy and his "partners". finally the mysterious whispering house is the site of the boy's unexplained death. eah setting gives the reader a good idea of what is about to happen.
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lheying



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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:50 pm

4. What role does the father play in this story?

Although the father was not physically present during this story he was there mentally. I believe that everything the son did was driven by what he thought his father might want. His mother made it so evident that the father was such a loser that it seemed that the son felt like he had to pull his fathers weight, because his mom made it sound like he contributed very little to the family. In this story the father seemed to be the core inspiration for the sons sudden demise. afro
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Jess.M.Period1



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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:53 pm

I think the relationship between the mother and son was pitiful. The boy only wanted to please his mother, help her and the family's economic promblem.
The must disturbing scene in my mind was when the mother came home from the party at the end of the story. I can visualize the mother quitely walking down the hall hearing the familiar sound of the rockinghorse but can not yet connect it. Then when she enters her sons room just to find him franticly riding the toy, in a trance, literally killing himself. That was really powerful. The psychological effect of the family situation on the boy was creepy. As you read the story, you could tell that the stress was getting to the son, he soon heard the unspoken in the walls, in his toys, taunting him. Everyday a constant reminder, there was no escape. The father supprisingly played a small role in the story. You would think that as the man of the house, the sole provider, that the father would have a larger role in the story. The fact that he doesn't makes me question the father's relationship with the wife. Who really runs the household? The ending of this story is powerful. The relationship between the mother and son is so wrong throughout the story. The child dies never knowing what it was like to be truly loved by a mother, to feel the warmth that so many take for granted. The mother has to live with the fact that her only son, the only one who would carry on the family name, died because of her greed. Instead of taking the money that the son had won and helping the family, she decides to indulge in her vainity.
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kielbasaSausage1



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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:27 pm

JanaeNae wrote:
the issue here is that from the very begenning of the story, Pauls mother feeds him the idea that to be successful you need to be rich. to be rich you need to have alot of luck. the mother is far to emotionally distant from her son in this story, and there also seems to be alot of sexual innuendo between them. Paul feels the need to satisfy his mother and make her proud of him through his luck, which only intensifies her greed, and makes her worse instead of appreciative. in the end the pressure to please kills him.
Exactly what I was thinking. While reading the story, Paul's longing to please his mother became increasingly apparent to me, and as Janae said, " in the end the pressure to please kills him." The nail has been hit on the head. Well said.
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Jedrek



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Registration date : 2006-09-19

PostSubject: Discussing Lawrence's "The Rocking Horse Winner"   Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:14 am

The ending actually scares me. The young son is entranced by his house and his surroundings, and seems almost hysterical because of it. He rides on that horse, wishing for luck, but I get the feeling that he's going crazy. He rides on this horse and despite his "luckiness," he dies. His wanting to please his mother makes is that he is willing to do and yearning to see his mother pleased and with money. It's quite disturbing.
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Alyssa



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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Tue Sep 19, 2006 4:13 pm

From the beginning you could tell that there are somethings wrong with the family. The fact that their lives revolve around money and luck, they hear "voices", and the mother hates her children. The family seems like one big group of obsessive compulsive people. I would assume their house to be really clean and orderly.

I agree with Jedrek. The ending was the part that really stuck with me. The way the whole story is written, it's like you can tell that something's going to happen but you don't really know what.
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Julie N



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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Tue Sep 19, 2006 4:20 pm

The ending of the story was disappointing because, I wanted him to let his mother know that he was the one who gave her the five thousand pounds, although it could be assumed that she realized that. In a way I wish the mother knew so that she could learn to appreciate the cash, and not spend it on materialistic things.
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mar89

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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Tue Sep 19, 2006 4:31 pm

I agree with a lot of the other students on the topic of the relationship between the mother and her son, Paul. Ever since Paul was a young boy, his mother always told him that their family was unlucky, and that they never had enough money to buy the things in life that they really needed. She embedded this thought into Paul's mind that him and his family would never be lucky, and that they would always live a satisfactory lifestyle. Because of this, she causes Paul to become obsessed with the horse races, and riding his rocking horse because he thought he gained luck from doing so. In the end, I believe that Paul's mother was the reason for his death because she caused him to be so obsessed that he went crazy while riding his winning horse.
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mrose



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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Tue Sep 19, 2006 4:37 pm

6. What do you think about the ending to the story?

The night of the death of the son greatly reminded me of The Yellow Paper and Jane's final transition into insanity. The son became so obsessed with picking the winner, that he became insane, resulting in his death. In a same sense, Jane's insanity involved her obsession with the yellow wallpaper.

I think the dramatic death of the son emphasized the theme of greed. The mother's greed, ever present through the constant whisperings of the house, led to the son's death. After winning 5,000 pounds, the mother greedily took it and spent it all. Wanting to please his mother and satisfy the need for more money, Paul tried so hard to pick the next race's winner. However, his success was at the expense of his life.
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gargigodbole

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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Tue Sep 19, 2006 4:51 pm

I didn't quite like the ending, since it symbolized that the reason the boy was born was to provide money for his mother. His mother seemed also very dominating and this might have influenced the boy for what he did. From the first page of the story, I didn't like the image of the mother, she seemed very selfish, which she actually turned out to be. I just wish that instead of showing the boy die, they could have showed him escaping the harsh lifestyle around him, and providing for himself, while living a happy life.
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jalessanoel

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PostSubject: The Rocking Horse Winner   Tue Sep 19, 2006 5:06 pm

Mother/Son Relationship
I would say that the mother & the son have one of the most ackward literary relationships I have ever read about. The mother openly admits that she doesn't feel the type of motherly love for her children as she should & the feelings are reciprocal with the children to their mother. The mother seems to show little enthusiasm when her son asks her questions about "luck" & yet he still wants to please her by being "lucky." What really weirded me out was that after the mother recieved the 5 grand from her son (unknowingly), she "warms up" to him & actually becomes frantic when he gets sick. Its like she just KNOWS that he's "lucky" & feels like he needs to stay around, which ironically does not happen. Complicated story overall.
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maxr409



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PostSubject: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:27 pm

Though the father is mentioned only a few times in the entire story I found that he had a tremendous influence on the characters in the novel. The shortcomings of Paul's father cause Paul to want to succeed where he percieves his father to have failed. Paul seeks to be everything his father is not, namely "lucky". The failures of Paul's father also causes an unusual relationship to form between the Paul and his mother. In this relationship Paul seeks to please his mother and tries to fill the role which his father can not.
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LeN

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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:38 pm

7. What image/events strikes you the hardest from this story?

The most hunting image is Paul furiously riding his rocking-horse in the dark. The scene impresses upon me a feeling of hopelessness and containtment. If the author ever tries to summarize the whole story in one image, I believe this would be the one. The image is the physical representation of Paul's effort in trying to stop the whisper. He wanted the horse to carry him away from the voices. However, It was the rocking-horse nature to stay in one place no matter how hard the rider rocked. It was also human nature to want more and more and never be satisfy, so the whisper went on. Paul was trapped in his effort just as he was trapped in the constant back-and-forth motion and the rushing sound of the horse.
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Edunn116



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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:40 pm

In response to the Mother and Sons relationship I believe that their relationship was different then most. The Mother tried so hard to live up to the "perfect" Mother/Son relationship that she missed memories that they could have shared. Instead of having a really close bond she sort of pushed him away. He still loved her and did anything he could for her but the Mother should have put more time in with him rather then trying to impress her friends. It was a dissapointing ending though when the boy raised all that money for his mother and she never knew it was him.
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Eric



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PostSubject: The Rocking-Horse Winner   Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:41 pm

One of the most striking and vivid images that came to mind was when the mom walked in on her son rocking wildly on the horse. I saw an almost demonic image of a boy glowing with an evil red aura. I imagined the boy possessed; as if he were the one in the race. I found it interesting how the mother was more concerned with money than her children. In the beginning of the story, her kids and she knows that there is no love. I thought it reflected certain attitudes in today’s world, where people are more concerned about money and physical aspects of life rather than the emotional side. I saw the race track and the gambling as a symbol of the money and physical/materialistic needs. I thought it was curse, almost a disease that ended up killing the boy.
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EmilyN

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PostSubject: Re: Discussing Lawrence's The Rocking-Horse Winner   Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:52 pm

I really enjoyed this story. I felt like the setting was really important to the story, because as the house talks, its almost as if the setting itself is a character in the story. It speaks, and interacts, and influences the characters just like another major character would.

The relationship between the mother and son i see as being dynamic, in that at the beginning of the story, the mother seems really emotionally distant. but by the end of the story, she realizes her impact on the boy's life and pities him, and actually begins to feel forhim.

Overall, this story had a really great tone and style.
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