Read The Rocking-Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence Free Online
Book Title: The Rocking-Horse Winner|
The author of the book: D.H. Lawrence
ISBN 13: 9780895987617
Edition: Perfection Learning
Date of issue: September 1982
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 625 KB
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Reader ratings: 7.2
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The opening words sound like a fairy story, “There was a woman who was beautiful, who started with all the advantages, yet she had no luck.” But it is immediately clear that this is more Grimm than Disney: “She married for love, and the love turned to dust. She had bonny children, yet she felt they had been thrust upon her, and she could not love them.”
It was intended to be a ghost story, but there are no ghosts - just supernatural voices and premonitions, and the metaphorical ghost of an off-stage, useless father: “Though he had good prospects, those prospects never materialised.”
It is as haunting as any ghost story because of the combined effects of lack of love and whispering walls on the boy, Paul. “The house became haunted by the unspoken phrase: There must be more money!’”
The heart of the story is luck, money, and the absence of both.
The heart of Paul longs for love from the empty heart of his mother.
Paul asks why they don’t have a car. His mother says it’s because they’re poor (this is relative - they have a large house and several servants, but live beyond their means).
When he asks why, she says, “slowly and bitterly, ‘it’s because your father has no luck.’” She fails to mention her own compulsive spending.
“Is luck money, mother?”
“No, Paul! Not quite. It’s what causes you to have money… That’s why it’s better to be born lucky than rich.”
So does dying rich mean dying lucky? Tragedy or triumph?
Make Your Own?
The idea of making your own luck is a cliché. But if you “make” it, surely it’s skill, effort, and persistence, rather than luck?
Rationalists like me can’t manufacture luck and can’t hope for Paul’s paranormal solution.
That leaves us with a delicate balancing act: to accept and enjoy what we have right now, even as we reach out and up, striving for more and better lives, more and better selves.
I named my own rocking horse Pegasus because I knew he had wings. Their invisibility was part - confirmation, even - of their magic. Like Paul, my riding was sometimes frantic, mesmeric, dangerous. Pegasus flew me to many and wondrous places. I won no money, but I lived to tell the tales and to see my own, loved, son ride Pegasus as I had done. I saw my own Winner’s Enclosure.
Read as part of Selected Short Stories.
Image source for word “Lucky” with horseshoe U:
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Read information about the authorDavid Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English writer of the 20th century, whose prolific and diverse output included novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, paintings, translations, literary criticism and personal letters. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, human sexuality and instinct.
Lawrence's opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile he called his "savage pilgrimage." At the time of his death, his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents. E. M. Forster, in an obituary notice, challenged this widely held view, describing him as "the greatest imaginative novelist of our generation." Later, the influential Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence's fiction within the canonical "great tradition" of the English novel. He is now generally valued as a visionary thinker and a significant representative of modernism in English literature.
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