Greedy as a Motivator
David Lawrence was a famous American writer, poet, and essayist. He was born in England in 1885 in small town of Eastwood. Lawrence’s father was a miner was started working since he was seven. From him, he learned scolding is “a staple of female behavior”. His mother Lydia Bersall was a usual rural woman. She was too much religious and pride woman who did not accept other opinion but hers (Squires et al, 4). Since his childhood, Lawrence realized what was like to live in an extreme poverty, in the puritan family that conformed to the traditions of the Victorian Age. Under the influence of religious mother and strict father, Lawrence shaped his unconventional outlook on life (Squires et al. 8). Therefore, his works revealed the topic of modernity and industrialization. The writer is mostly focused on the issues health, human sexuality, and instinct. The short story The Rocking-Horse Winner reflects his outlook on relationships in a middle-class family that experienced grief poverty and was doomed to succumb to such vices as greed and obsession.
The main protagonist of the story who was blinded by the success at the horses’ races and the feeling of luck were able to overcome any adversities in order to get more money. Unlike his mother, Paul was sure that he is the luckiest man and there was always a possibility to be wealthy and happy. He is also aware that family needs money badly. “Although they lived in a style they felt always an anxiety in the house. There was never enough money” (Lawrence, 159). However, being captured by the betting on the horses, Paul was concentrated on getting money for his mother. Gradually, he was keen on gaining money more and more though he had enough for a wealthy life. Overwhelmed with greed and a burning desire to please his mother, he was obsessed with betting that became the essence of his life. His mother claims that being “lucky” meant having money. Hence, Paul being inspired with his mother’s words is eager to be successful.
Paul’s mother considered herself unlucky since she was deprived with all luxuries of life. She was uselessly spending the money gained by his son so that the family was always in debt. His mother was confident that her son was obliged to grant her with the whole sum since she always bad luck. The author images the real atmosphere of the family that was a constant need of money: “Oh, there must be more money …..money-more than ever!”(Lawrence, 169). As it can be seen, Paul’s mother was directly motivated by the greed and the obsessive desire to have more money. Being blinded by it, she replaced moral values and family love by the power of money and material values. In his turn, Paul was impelled by love for his mother and the only goal was to satisfy his mother’s needs. He died from exhaustion but won the desirable sum.
The Paul’s death is a logical outcome of the story. It proves that greed is always punished sooner of later. In this respect, Paul and his mother is the major confrontation of material and moral values. For Paul, money is the payment for the mother’s love that he lacks so much whereas mother considers that money symbolizes luck that she was deprived. In addition, the story also teaches that there is always be a golden medium in everything thus emphasizing the damaging impact of money.
Squires, Michael, & Talbot, Lynn K. Living at the Edge: a biography of D.H. Lawrence and Frieda von Richthofen. US: University of Wisconsin Press, 2002.
Lawrence, David H. The Rocking-Horse Winner US: Cybraria LLC, 2009.