Analysing The Rocking Horse Winner English Literature Essay

A careful reading of the text shows that there are two clear subjects running side-by-side in this narrative. We will discourse both in this paper. The major and more prevailing subject is that of greed and desire for stuff wealth in the modern-day society of England with the exclusion of any moral values or parental duties. The other is the oedipal construction of the secret plan. The supporter in this narrative is Paul, a immature and high strung male child, who is the eldest amongst three siblings of a in-between category British household. Paul is his female parent ‘s intimate and is troubled by the fact that his female parent is dissatisfied by the deficiency of money in the household and that she believes his male parent to be luckless because he could n’t do more money. Paul tries his best to pacify his female parent and comfort her by gaining more money and being more “ lucky ” than his male parent. He strains himself in seeking to happen a manner out of this quandary. He feels compelled to turn out to his female parent that he is lucky… luckier than his male parent. In his effort to gain money he is helped by their nurseryman Bassett who teaches him the basicss of wagering on Equus caballuss. Paul is fascinated and to his surprise finds that he is really able to do money by “ thinking ” the name of the winning Equus caballus. He keeps this fact a secret and Bassett helps him in his venture.

After erstwhile Paul ‘s uncle Oscar joins the squad and it is with his aid that Paul is able to do a gift of five thousand lbs, anonymously, to his female parent for Christmas. To confirm the subject we find that Paul ‘s female parent is non happy with the initial footings of the gift that she would have a thousand lbs for Christmas each twelvemonth for five old ages. In his passionate effort to see her happy he alters the footings of the gift and gives her the full amount at one spell. The female parent is able to make as she pleases for a piece but as he keeps winning more money the “ voices ” in the house grow more ceaseless and goad him to sit his swaying Equus caballus in a craze of nervous energy. Paul is despairing to do adequate money to do the house stop whispering so after a batch of letdowns he is determined to do good by thinking the name of the victor at the Derby. He rides his wooden rocking Equus caballus deliriously and eventually is able to divine the name of the victor. But in making so he so irreparably amendss his composure that he faints and falls off his Equus caballus. Before his female parent could come to his aid he lapses into an unconscious daze but merely after he had mentioned the name of the victor. Bassett entirely was able to understand what “ Malabar ” meant and he betted on the Equus caballus on behalf of Paul, who was excessively sick to make anything by himself. Paul remains stricken for two yearss and additions consciousness briefly merely to seek and reassure his female parent that he was lucky. However, Paul dies on the same twenty-four hours as Malabar wins the race and leaves a bequest of 80 thousand lbs for his female parent. The sarcasm of the state of affairs is that even though Paul gave up his life to hear one word of love and encouragement from his female parent, none came to comfort his fevered and hallucinating bosom. His female parent did non till the terminal concur with him and hold that he so was really lucky for the household.

The selfishness and irresponsibleness of Paul ‘s parents, particularly his female parent, is demonstrated by the fact that despite holding an uneasy feeling about the immature male child ‘s good being they go away to the party and return place in the little hours of the forenoon, to happen that Paul was still awake and swaying frantically off on his Equus caballus, seeking to prophecy and announce the name of the victor. Hester, Paul ‘s female parent, appears to be cold and heartless as she does non lenify his agitation by one time stating him that she loved him and that he was so lucky. She was hold oning and disgruntled and did non even care to understand what was ailing her boy. To her material wealth was more of import than learning her kids good values and fostering them with unselfish love.

Freudian reading of the subject throws visible radiation on Paul ‘s oedipal arrested development of turn outing to his female parent that he was luckier than his male parent because he was able to do big amounts of money and affording her the chance to fling every bit much as she pleased. The act of swaying on the wooden Equus caballus, which Paul had outgrown, has sexual intensions. Lawrence has juxtaposed the man-boy image with that of the knight in reflecting armour galloping to salvage his faery princess, except that in Paul ‘s instance the Equus caballus is simply a wooden avocation Equus caballus and his faery princess, his female parent, does non experience thankful for all his premium.

Main Fictional characters:

Paul, the immature supporter of this narrative, is a kid who takes on the load of promoting the societal and material criterion of his household. He takes upon his immature shoulders the duties that truly should hold been executed by his parents. He is fascinated by Equus caballus racing and shortly realizes that he had a particular bent for divining the names of the victors if he rode long plenty on his ain avocation Equus caballus. He tries his best to do his female parent happy and to do the house halt rustle. As mentioned antecedently he sacrifices his ain life in a manic effort to do his female parent fret less about money. In this narrative we see the blunt difference in the natures of Paul and Hester. His female parent is on the one manus wholly selfish and irresponsible piece on the other Paul is wholly altruistic and generous. He does non demand anything for himself and is happy allow his female parent have all the money in an effort to do her happy.

Hester, Paul ‘s cold and unfeeling female parent, had “ at the Centre of her bosom was a difficult small topographic point that could non experience love ” ( Lawrence, 9 ) . She was a shallow adult female who was both irresponsible and selfish. She did non love her kids, though she spent excessive sums of money for purchasing unneeded family objects. Status was synonymous with power and she off loaded her unsated longing for more money onto her immature boy, who took it upon himself to seek and do up for his male parent ‘s defects. It was her continually turning demands for money that drove Paul to a fit of desiring to turn out himself to her. In the terminal it was she who drove Paul to his ill-timed grave.

Academy award, Paul ‘s more flush yet wholly indurate Uncle is merely as materialistic and shallow as his sister. He takes full advantage of Paul ‘s unusual gift to divine the names of the victors and makes a pretty heap of money for himself. He is selfish and irresponsible as is borne out by the fact that holding confirmed cognition that his immature nephew was indulging in betting and gaming, he did non one time warn his sister of the danger Paul was in, nor did he seek to explicate things to Paul and learn him some good values. He has a cold heartless run in him similar to Hester and in the terminal when Paul dies wholly he thinks of is how much money Paul had left his sister. There is no compunction, no unhappiness and no understanding for anyone.

Bassett, the nurseryman, was the lone friend and good wisher Paul had. It was Bassett who had introduced Paul to betting and gaming. But he was the 1 who cared for Paul and did non victimize him of any of his net incomes even though he had ample chance to make so. He was the lone individual in the household who gave Paul the regard and attending that was due to him. So, even though Bassett is a nurseryman, a mere retainer, he shows more concern and lovingness for Paul than his ain parents and relations do.


The usage of the wooden rocking Equus caballus in this narrative is really important. It symbolizes the craze Paul experiences in his pursuit for more money. The swaying gesture of the drive has sexual intensions as good, which is a spot upsetting because Paul is portrayed to be a really immature male child. As mentioned elsewhere one of the subjects of the narrative revolves circular Oedipus composite, manifested in this narrative in Paul seeking to take his male parent ‘s topographic point by gaining more money for the household and fulfilling his female parent. The fact that the avocation Equus caballus is wooden and has no name besides represents the fact that insatiate greed is counterproductive and can take one nowhere merely as the wooden Equus caballus was non able to go and take Paul anyplace at all ( Wilson, 235 ) . And eventually the rocking Equus caballus represents decease and sadness as it causes Paul to decease and his female parent to be more disgruntled and unhappy.