Comparing Rocking Horse Winner, Prussian Officer, And Second Best

1691 words - 7 pages

Differences in Rocking-Horse Winner, Prussian Officer, and Second Best

Works by the same author often show the repeated use of certain words, images, or plots. In five short stories by the author, D.H. Lawrence, differences between social classes are the basis for conflict and provide the foundation for taboo relationships. These five stories are "The Rocking-Horse Winner," "The Prussian Officer," "Second Best," "The White Stocking," and "The Daughters of the Vicar." The inclusion of the motif of class differences in these particular works often leads to acts of violence or tragedy as the outcome.

In "The Rocking-Horse Winner," a relationship forms between the pseudo- aristocratic Paul and his family's gardener, Bassett. Paul's family is not by any means rich, but "they felt themselves superior to anyone in the neighborhood." Bassett, in contrast, is a young war veteran turned gardener with a passion for horse racing. It turns out that this passion is shared by Paul and his uncle Oscar, as well. Oscar is at first disapproving of the relationship between "old man" Bassett and his nephew, but the love for horse racing and gambling puts them on the same level. The class difference between the men is used by Lawrence to show that debt and greed are universal desires — they are not confined to the lower classes. The fatal climax of the story is sadly also its end. When Paul falls off of the rocking-horse and lies dying in his bed, his mother is brought down from her imaginary pedestal of social superiority and allows Bassett (with whom the boy's "intense hours" were spent) to visit with him. The story ends tragically with social differences being readily apparent.

"The Prussian Officer" is similar to "The Rocking-Horse Winner" in that the story ends with death. However, "The Prussian Officer" contains much more contrast between the status of its two main characters, the servant and the officer. Consequently, more violence also arises. The officer is, "a Prussian aristocrat, haughty and overbearing. Having made too many gambling debts . . . he remained an infantry captain"(2). The officer is furious at the youth and vigor of his servant, he often catches himself admiring the "young, brown, shapely peasant's hand"(3) or "the strong, easy young figure, the fine eyebrows, the thick black hair" (5). The class difference is accentuated by the officer's cruelty towards his young charge: he is forced to stay indoors doing mindless tasks instead of spending a few meager minutes with his girlfriend, he is violently kicked behind the legs for failing to answer a question quickly enough, he is slapped in the face with the end of a belt, and he is struck with a heavy military glove in the same way. The officer is clearly jealous of the freedom of the peasantry, and indicates this with his thoughts of hatred and violent actions as well as words. The servant is tortured simply for who he is, not for what he has done: he is lower than the officer and,...

Find Another Essay On Comparing Rocking-Horse Winner, Prussian Officer, and Second Best

Rocking-Horse Winner Essay

905 words - 4 pages A family's inability to coincide in harmony can ultimately lead to devastation. This stands true in the stories The Rocking-Horse Winner and The Machine Stops. The family's in both stories display many different problems. These problems lead to the development of various conflicts. Some of the issues in these stories include lack of communication, inability to accept one another, and not realizing what is truly important in life.Lack of

Rocking-horse Winner Essay

2567 words - 10 pages affection. Greed has no resolution. The uncle's words of hypocorism, subsequent to his bid: "My God, Hester, you're eighty thousand to the good, and a poor devil of a son to the bad. But, poor devil, poor devil, he's best gone out of life where he rides his rocking-horse to find a winner" (235). Better of dead, than in a life without love and full of GREED.THE ROCKING-HORSE WINNER Every human being desires to rise in life or society; it's how we get

The Rocking-Horse Winner

1292 words - 5 pages affection. Greed has no resolution. The uncle's words of hypocorism, subsequent to his bid: "My God, Hester, you're eighty thousand to the good, and a poor devil of a son to the bad. But, poor devil, poor devil, he's best gone out of life where he rides his rocking-horse to find a winner" (235). Better of dead, than in a life without love and full of GREED.

Rocking-Horse Winner

746 words - 3 pages D.H. Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner” is a short story about the bond between a boy and his rocking horse. The young boy Paul has a rocking horse that he is growing out of, but still saddles up anyway. He was born into a greedy family and has two younger sisters. In this story, Paul is taught the way his family values money, the luck that runs through his blood, as well as how gambling changes people. Paul’s mother is told that “she is

The rocking horse winner

743 words - 3 pages . Lawrence is known for his interest in materialism and modern society. These themes have been found in the “The Rocking Horse Winner”, which described a young boy by the name of Paul who has no luck. Paul would ride his lucky horse to find the winner of the horse’s name. Paul and his uncle would gamble on the lucky horse to get money so he can support the mother’s money hunger needs, which she needed desperately. He uses symbols, such as the

The Rocking Horse Winner

883 words - 4 pages 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

The Rocking Horse Winner

5501 words - 22 pages ; said the mother. But the boy died in the night. And even as he lay dead, his mother heard her brother's voice saying to her: "My God. Hester, you're eighty-odd thousand to the good, and a poor devil of a son to the bad. But, poor devil, poor devil, he's best gone out of a life where he rides his rocking-horse to find a winner."

Rocking Horse Winner

655 words - 3 pages The Rocking Horse Loser In "The Rocking Horse Winner" D.H. Lawrence presents Paul's mother as an unloving and cold-hearted person. As the story unfolds, she not only shows how indifferent she acts towards her family, but also how truly self-centered she is. During breakfast on the day of her birthday details, such as the mother's constant necessity for money and her perpetual anxiety to obtain it, shed light on her greed, and antagonistic

Rocking Horse Winner

491 words - 2 pages nails would be clipped neatly by the servants and not by him.Paul's mentality can be considered a little unstable during some parts of the story through his reactions and actions that he displays. Trying to prove to his mother that he's lucky he rides a small wooden rocking horse to a point of exhaustion. When Paul was trying to prove he was lucky he meant to prove that he is lovable to his mother. Emotionally, Paul felt that he needed love from

The Rocking-Horse Winner

1190 words - 5 pages there. “It came whispering from the springs of the still-swaying rocking horse…The big doll, sitting so pink and smirking in her new pram, could hear it quite plainly, and seemed to be smirking all the more self-consciously because of it. (101)” The whisper infiltrated the rooms with its secret, filling each and every corners and cranny, right to the woodwork itself. The manner with which the author illustrates Paul, the young boy at the

The rocking horse winner

891 words - 4 pages anything and everything by just batting my eyes and saying daddy please. Now to what ways do are parents hurt us without knowing it. In this short story The Rocking horse winner this little boy rides a horse to find out who wins the horse race so that he can be lucky so his mother will love him. First of all the things that they say sometimes truly do hurt your feelings like” why can’t you be more like your brother?” or maybe “You can’t do anything

Similar Essays

The Rocking Horse Winner Essay

10845 words - 43 pages absolutely sure-oh, absolutely! Mother, did I ever tell you? I am lucky!" "No, you never did," said his mother. During the night, Paul dies. As he lies before her, Hester hears the voice of her brother: "My God, Hester, you're eighty-odd thousand to the good, and a poor devil of a son to the bad. But, poor devil, poor devil, he's best gone out of a life where he rides his rocking-horse to find a winner." Second point of view: In "The Rocking-Horse

Rocking Horse Winner Essay

609 words - 2 pages "there must be more money” disturbs Paul and he believes it exists because his family does not have enough money. Paul drives himself to a state of insanity and perishes because of this. This story is written in a radiant way which displays several ironic situations and statements. Here are four examples of different ways irony is present in the emblematic short story, "The Rocking-Horse Winner". One example of irony present in the

The Rocking Horse Winner Essay

974 words - 4 pages In the short story ?The Rocking Horse Winner,? D.H.Lawrence uses his characters as symbols in support of the theme, that innocence cannot survive when confronted with greed and selfishness. This theme is prominent twice in the story. First the theme is shown through the corruption of Paul, leading him to push himself to extremes which ultimately lead to the second, and more horrifying example, his death. According to one critic, this story

"The Rocking Horse Winner" Essay

652 words - 3 pages "The Rocking Horse Winner"Paul's mother in "The Rocking Horse Winner" is a cold, unloving parent who is extravagant and materialistic."The Rocking Horse Winner" is a short story written in the 20th century by D.H. Lawrence. One of its outstanding elements is the vivid characterization of Paul and his mother. Paul's mother in "The Rocking Horse Winner" is a cold, unloving parent who is extravagant and materialistic.The cold and unloving quality
The Kissing Booth (2018) | China , Australia , Russia , Thailand | Dragon Ball – Bảy Viên Ngọc Rồng chap 164