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Theme and Symbols in Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner”

“The Rocking-Horse Winner” provokes various emotions, including fascination and concerns about the boy, pity and disappointment about the mother, and misunderstanding of adult behaviors. Such attitude may be explained by the theme, morals, and symbols Lawrence uses.

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There are two evident topics in the story: a conflict between material and personal needs and family relationships. The author’s idea is to introduce a family with a common problem that is “the grinding sense of the shortage of money” and a specific treatment when the mother does not feel love (Lawrence). The message is that love and money are incompatible, and people can never be happy in their chase for money.

To strengthen the power of the plot, Lawrence adds several important symbols. The mother is an archetype symbol that embodies negative human qualities (greed and selfishness), wrong lifestyle expectations, and poor parental responsibilities. Although the family has “a small income,” they keep up the style, buy expensive goods, and neglect the necessity of earning or caring, proving human irrationality. “A strange, heavy, and yet not loud noise” is a conventional symbol informing something unusual and hardly pleasant.

It is a sign of change that unexpectedly reaches the family and takes something crucial. A rocking-horse with “its red mouth was slightly open, its big eye was wide and glassy-bright” is the main literary symbol that influences the boy (Lawrence). The horse possesses powers to bring the boy luck and make him crazy. Instead of experiencing love and care, the boy spends much time riding his horse furiously, which makes this subject a symbol of isolation and death. There are many other symbols in “The Rocking-Horse Winner” that have an impact on the characters and the reader.

Work Cited

Lawrence, David Herbert. “The Rocking-Horse Winner.” The Short Story Project. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, July 27). Theme and Symbols in Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner”. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/theme-and-symbols-in-lawrences-the-rocking-horse-winner/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, July 27). Theme and Symbols in Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner”. https://studycorgi.com/theme-and-symbols-in-lawrences-the-rocking-horse-winner/

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"Theme and Symbols in Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner”." StudyCorgi, 27 July 2022, studycorgi.com/theme-and-symbols-in-lawrences-the-rocking-horse-winner/.

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StudyCorgi. "Theme and Symbols in Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner”." July 27, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/theme-and-symbols-in-lawrences-the-rocking-horse-winner/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Theme and Symbols in Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner”." July 27, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/theme-and-symbols-in-lawrences-the-rocking-horse-winner/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Theme and Symbols in Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner”'. 27 July.

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