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Love, money, happiness and luck are four simple words that people live for and die for at times. This is best portrayed by Paul, a young little boy in D. H Lawrence's' short story titled 'The Rocking Horse Winner, who moves heaven and earth to win his mother's love and to save her from bad luck. In portraying an affluent household that is hungry for more money, Lawrence fictionally critiques the modern society's materialistic nature. Hester desires material wealth to the omission of the most valuable things in life like happiness and love. These two themes of luck and love will be emphatically analyzed in this paper by carefully assessing two major characters; Paul and Hester.
The story sparks furor and uproar, especially among the diehard lovers of money who think that money is the fuel to every moving wheel in life while on the contrary; some people consider love and peace as their primary needs in life (Lawrence 8). As it is always said that money is the root of all evils, Lawrence in this short story thematically propounds this saying and asserts in many ways that money is a force that can lead to destruction. The entire story is about love and luck. When Paul asks his mother the reason for their family's poverty, Hester says it's all because of his father's bad luck. More so, irrespective of this, Paul still believes that he would be lucky and this belief is heightened by the whispers he hears in their house saying that there must be some more monies. His only hope for stopping the whispers is finding more money.
Paul seemingly is the main character in this short story. He strongly believes in luck and is quite determined to please his mother. This motivates him to crazily ride an aged rocking horse that he kept in the bedroom hoping that he would eventually be lucky enough to know the winner of the race (Lawrence 13). Time comes when a prevalent race of that year is held in Paul's region and Paul like a maniac in pursuit for luck rides his horse for the whole night. This results to his death as he sadly dies before receiving his prize of luck of 8000 pounds. Paul does all this to prove to his mother that she too can find luck for their father. However, he fails to realize that in riding the horse all night long, he would have an awful price to pay.
Hester on the other hand enters into marriage because of love though the love eventually fades away. She is unable to love her own children and all through her life; she loves no one but herself. Furthermore, the closer she gets to love, the more she keeps rejecting it (Lawrence 16). This is clearly demonstrated by her rejection for her son Paul even after getting too close to him; she could not love him but only rejects him (Lawrence 118). She has a hard heart of stone that even gets harder every time she is surrounded by her children, especially Paul, who happens to be quite sensitive and fully determined to win his mother's love. Despite Hester's inability to demonstrate love and affection for her children, the neighborhood perceives her as an exemplary mother who dearly loves and cares for her children. They hardly know the pain she that she is going through inwardly because of her inability to love anyone, including her own children (Lawrence 118).
According to Hester, success means accumulation of wealth enough to conceal her family's inadequacies. Her family is languishing in poverty and there never seems to be a way of eliminating it, although the family does not appear poor to the rest of the neighborhood because Hester spends every penny she has and at times even more to clothe the poverty in their house (Lawrence 219). She conceals the fact that her income and that of her husband is not enough to sustain the high social profile that she has adopted for her family (Lawrence 219). After having a conversation with his mother, Paul believes that the only way to buy her mother's love is by getting lucky since he knows that his mother loves their father despite his bad luck.
According to Hester, luck is the only way to acquire and accumulate money. Based on this notion, Paul believes that luck would bring him plenty of money which he would give to his mother and make her happy in order to gain his mother's love in return. However, his mother never appreciates anything Paul does but instead; she becomes greedier, consequently failing to love her children (Lawrence 108).
Although Paul wins his last race, his mother never believes that he is lucky and that actually, his winning contributes to the bad luck of his mother. He dies without ever knowing whether or not his mother loves him as death denies him the only thing he ever wished for in his entire life; love. Hester on the other hand loses the only one person who ever truly loved her and also loses the only way to happiness that ever crossed her path, her son's money (Lawrence 66).
In conclusion, it is clear that that money can never buy love or happiness since loving someone is not only a feeling but a decision. Without making a decision to love and giving in to feeling of love, someone may never manifest his/her love for other people no matter the amount of money they shower her/him with. Love can flourish without money and still can flourish with money if the money is spent wisely. Greed will always have its consequences in the long run and therefore, people should never abandon those they are supposed to love because of material wealth.