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The Rocking-Horse Winner

The Rocking-Horse Winner

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The Rocking-Horse Winner

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  1. The Rocking-Horse Winner

  2. RWH • A fairytale style or folk tale style • 3rd person omniscient narration • Involves a dysfunctional family • Notion of what it is to be lucky • Possible child abuse • Class consciousness

  3. 3rd person omniscient • .......D. H. Lawrence wrote the story in omniscient third-person point of view, enabling him to reveal the thoughts of the characters. • Paul's mother only made several hundreds, and she was again dissatisfied. She so wanted to be first in something, and she did not succeed, even in making sketches for drapery advertisements.  • His mother had sudden strange seizures of uneasiness about him. Sometimes, for half an hour, she would feel a sudden anxiety about him that was almost anguish. She wanted to rush to him at once, and know he was safe.  • She had bonny children, yet she felt they had been thrust upon her, and she could not love them. They looked at her coldly, as if they were finding fault with her. And hurriedly she felt she must cover up some fault in herself. 

  4. Eye Imagery Forwards the Plot • D. H. Lawrence's attention to the eyes helps to convey the inmost feelings of characters in some instances. (characterization) • In fact a good deal of communication between human beings is nonverbal and glaring eyes, frowns, furrowed brows, and shrugs can sometimes communicate more meaning than words. • it enhances the mysterious and sometimes unsettling atmosphere of the story by leaving open to question what a gaze or a stare means. (atmosphere/mood)

  5. Eye Imagery examples • pg. 19 “Only she herself, and her children themselves, knew it was not so. They read it in each other’s eyes.” • pg. 20 “the boy watched her with unsure eyes.” • Pg. 21 “his eyes had a strange glare in them. The little girls dared not speak to him.” (establishing character) • Pg. 21 Referring to the RH “its big eye was wide and glassy-bright.” link to Paul and the horse • Pg. 24The boy gazed at his uncle from those big, hot, blue eyes, set rather close together. The uncle stirred and laughed uneasily. (establishing mood) • Pg. 27 “The boy watched him with big blue eyes, that had an uncanny cold fire in them, and he said never a word.” (notice the author hear lets characterization speak in place of actual dialogue)

  6. Atmosphere/mood • Personification • Pg. “And so the house came to be haunted by the unspoken phrase: There must be more money! There must be more money!” • Repetition reinforces the impact of personification • Objects on pg. 20 – the rocking horse, doll and puppy hear the secret whisper: “There must be more money~”

  7. Cause and Effect • No luck • Pg. 20 “It’s because your father has no luck,” said Paul’s mother when asked why they were poor.

  8. Foreshadowing • Reference is made to the supernatural when Paul told his mother that he was a lucky person. • Pg. 21 “He stared at her. He didn’t even know hwy he had said it. “God told me,” he asserted…..He did mother!” • Pg. 25 “We’re all right when we’re sure,” said Paul. “It’s when we’re not quite sure that we go down.” • Pg. 28 In relation to the continued whispering of the house. It was said that “Paul could not bear up against it.” • Pg. 31 Paul has his rocking horse moved to his own bedroom. His obsession will have deadly consequences - marks a passage of time

  9. Other Lit terms • Alliteration • Pg. 22 “Now!” he would silently command the snorting steed.” • Simile • Pg. 2 Bassett was serious as a church • And yet the voices in the house . . . simply trilled and screamed in a sort of ecstasy: "There must be more money!  • His eyes blazed at her for one strange and senselesssecond, as he ceased urging his wooden horse. 

  10. Lit terms cont’d • Metaphor • The child had never been to a race-meeting before, and his eyes were blue fire.Comparison of the eyes to fire • Oxymoron • It was a soundless noise, yet rushing and powerful. • Simile • The voices in the house suddenly went mad, like a chorus of frogs on a spring evening.Comparison of the voices to frogs • He neither slept nor regained consciousness, and his eyes were like blue stones.Comparison of the Paul's eyes to stones

  11. Diction • Characterization through diction. • Paul reveals his youth when he claims that Uncle Oscar pronounces Filthy lucre as filthy lucker. Diction can have the purpose of revealing character. (Malapropism) lucre means monetary gain, or money.

  12. Irony • Tragic Irony • .......Paul picks the winning horse in the Epsom Derby but loses his life. The fortune he had amassed, eighty thousand pounds (the equivalent of millions of dollars today), thus became his misfortune. 

  13. Theme Topics • Neglect • .......In her preoccupation with material things, Hester neglects to provide Paul the love he needs to develop into a normal, mentally stable child.  • Faulty Sense of Values • .......Hester makes stylish living the chief goal of her marriage. Consequently, her relationship with her husband and the care and nurture of her children—in particular, Paul—stagnate. Whenever money becomes available, she spends beyond her means. Though she and her husband rear their children in a "pleasant house" with servants and a nurse, they seem to regard them as objects for display, like the furnishings in the home. Hester's spending and indebtedness create anxiety that haunts the house and personifies itself by repeatedly whispering the phrase: "There must be more money." • Obsession • .......Lust for material objects, stylish living, and money so obsesses Paul's mother that she neglects Paul and his sisters. Paul then "inherits" her obsession. But he wants to win money for his mother, not for himself, in order to prove that he has the luck that his father lacks. Having luck and money will make him lovable to his mother, he apparently believes, and silence the house voices. When he discovers that the five thousand pounds he sets aside for her is not enough to achieve his goals, he becomes obsessed with winning more. His mania ultimately kills him.

  14. Themes topics cont’d • Opportunism • .......Oscar Creswell acknowledges that Paul's wagering makes him nervous. But rather than take steps to stop Paul, he encourages him and asks for tips on winning horses. When Paul lies deathly ill muttering the name of his pick for the Derby, Oscar runs off "in spite of himself" and places a bet on the horse at fourteen to one odds.  • Quest • .......Paul rides his rocking horse like a knight on a quest. He seeks a great prize, luck, that will enable him to win money wagering on horses. His winnings will free his mother from a great monster, indebtedness, that consumes all of her attention. Once free, she will be able to turn her attention to Paul and give him the greatest prize of all: love. • Deceit • .......In the first paragraph of the story, the narrator says Hester does not love her children. Nevertheless, outwardly she pretends to love them, and people say, "She is a good mother. She adores her children."

  15. Theme Statements • Materialism vs Unconditional familial love (Topic not a statement) When financial wealth and security are placed above the open expression of unconditional love, a destructive and dysfunctional family dynamic is created. Destructive power of obsession Dedicating oneself obsessively to achieving a goal can create an unhealthy imbalance in the mind, emotions, and / or body.

  16. Movie version • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKUZVV_MrIc