Rocking Horse Winner Essay

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“The Rocking-Horse Winner” Essay In the essay “The Rocking-Horse Winner” by D. H. Lawrence, Lawrence uses irony as well as symbolism to aid him in reinforcing major themes of the short story. He uses these literary devices to reinforce the theme that modern man’s greed and materialism robbed him of his noblest instincts. This theme has, if anything, gained poignancy over time, as the human race becomes increasingly materialistic and superficial, causing one to wonder if mankind is really any better off than before the Industrial Revolution. “The Rocking-Horse Winner” had several points in the story in which irony is used, mostly to serve the purpose of creating pathos in the story. One instance of irony is where, when Paul tells his mother that he is lucky, and at the end of the story (Page 34), Paul asked: “Did I never tell you? I am lucky!” To which his mother responded, “No, you never did.” This showed that his mother paid little attention to what she thought was simply a cry for attention; she forgot about it, and one might feel that Paul might not have died if his mother weren’t so pre-occupied with money. The entire story itself is also ironic, as it is begun in the same fashion as a fairy tale, but ends quite badly, with little Paul dying, at the price of “eighty-odd thousand” pounds, which he then proceeds to give to his mother. Aside from irony, symbolism also played an integral role in the telling of the story. There are a myriad of examples of symbolism used in this story, not the least of which being the use of symbolism in the eyes of Paul, as well as the horse in this story. On page 21, the horse’s eye was “Wide, and glassy-bright”. This is similar to the way Paul’s eyes are described in the story while riding the horse, “Paul only gave a blue glare from his big, rather close-set eyes” (Page 22). The eyes are important, because they show a

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