The Rocking Hrose Winner Essay, Research Paper
The Rocking Horse Winner
When a person is lucky, it does not have to mean that they are fortunate with money. Luck is the chance for things to go the way you want them to go with out having any control over the situation. In The Rocking Horse Winner, Hester, the mother seems to believe that luck is strictly having money, and when there is no money, there is no luck. Hester’s idea of luck meaning money brings forth the two ideas of greed and death throughout the story.
Money plays a huge part in this story. Hester, the mother, is obsessed with having more and more money. She lives the life of a woman with money, never allowing anyone to see past the family’s small income, “The mother had a small income, and the father had a small income, but not nearly enough for the social position which they had to keep up” (435). The mother was incredibly selfish, having no love for anyone but herself. “Only she herself knew that at the center of her heart was a hard little place that could not feel love, no, not for anybody” (434). Her whole idea of money made her so selfish and hard, that she lost her husbands love, and there was no love between her children, either.
This obsession with money and luck becomes confusing to her son, Paul, who believes that he is lucky. His mother kept telling Paul that he wasn’t lucky, but she didn’t know why Paul kept saying that he was lucky. Paul heard whispering in his house “…the secret whisper in the house: ’There must be more money’” (435). This whisper made Paul realize that they needed more money. So Paul started betting on race horses, and began to accumulate some money. Paul said that he would ride his rocking horse until he heard the name of the horse that was going to win the race. He would go to Bassett, and Bassett would bet his money for him. Paul would keep betting and betting until he had made a lot of money. When he realized just how much money he had made, he took 5,000 pounds of it to the family lawyer to be given a thousand pounds to his mother, annually. But Paul didn’t end here. He continued to bet and make more and more money.
When Paul’s mother received the letter from the lawyer, she got even more greedy. She went to the lawyer and asked if she could have all the money at once. Paul agreed that this would be okay. But the house just whispered louder, with more greed. Paul’s mother had used the money foolishly again, instead of using it wisely to pay off her debt. “The voices in the house suddenly went mad, like a chorus of frogs on a spring evening. There were certain new furnishings and Paul had a new tutor…there were flowers in the winter, and a blossoming of the luxury that Paul’s mother had been used to” (442). Paul’s mother and Paul’s greed amplified: Paul continued to bet to make more money for his mother, and his mother kept spending money that she didn’t have.
Eventually the luck, or in this case, the unluck, had to run out, and it did. Paul’s continual confusion leads him to find his “luck” of know the winning horses. Paul is successful at reaching this goal and fulfilling his mother’s definition of luck. The whole belief of his mother’s was the basis for Paul’s confusion. Good luck for Paul would be to see his mother happy. He knew that money was what made her happy. According to Paul’s definition of luck, he would have been very lucking seeing that his mother now had money. However, he is extremely unlucky in not receiving his mother’s love in return. That is why being lucky was so important to him. He wanted his mother’s love. His mother constantly cried out for more, and Paul realized he could not satisfy his mothers need for luck any longer.
In one last attempt to try and make his mother happy, Paul sacrificed his life. Rage overcame Paul, trying to hear the name of the winning horse. In his indefinable rage, Paul fell off his rocking horse and knocked himself unconscious. In an unconscious state, Paul yelled out the name of the winning horse and ended up winning his mother over 80,000 pounds. In return, she lost her son.
The money that Paul won, was proof of his luck that he could give to his mother and earn her love. Paul is very unlucky in that he never got what he wanted even by trying to get it. That luck wasn’t money to Paul, it was love. He never received love from his mother which he should have gotten by chance, and his mother ended up losing a lot more than Paul’s money could have ever given her.