58 pages 1 hour read

D. H. Lawrence

The Rocking Horse Winner

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1926

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Essay Questions

Use these essay questions as writing and critical thinking exercises for all levels of writers, and to build their literary analysis skills by requiring textual references throughout the essay.

Differentiation Suggestion: For English learners or struggling writers, strategies that work well include graphic organizers, sentence frames or starters, group work, or oral responses.

Scaffolded Essay Questions

Student Prompt: Write a short (1-3 paragraph) response using one of the bulleted outlines below. Cite details from the text over the course of your response that serve as examples and support.

1. At the core of Lawrence’s story is the bond between a mother and her son, Paul.

  • Which aspects of this parent-child relationship does Lawrence most illuminate? (topic sentence)
  • Find 2-3 examples of this relationship in the story and analyze the connection.
  • How does Lawrence’s characterization of the parent-child relationship speak to his larger point regarding The Unhealthy Relational Dynamic of Emotional Incest?

2. Paul wants to know the true nature of luck.

  • How does the story explain what luck is? Is Paul as lucky as he says he is? (topic sentence)
  • Cite 2-3 examples from the text to develop your answer.
  • How does Paul’s understanding of luck link to Lawrence’s theme of Luck: Fortune and Providence?

3. Contrast Paul’s generosity with his mother’s greed.