58 pages 1 hour read

D. H. Lawrence

The Rocking Horse Winner

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1926

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“The Rocking-Horse Winner”

  • Genre: Short story; fiction; supernatural; allegory
  • Originally Published: 1926
  • Reading Level/Interest: High school/adult
  • Structure/Length: No chapters; approximately 18 pages; approximately 31 minutes on audiobook
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: The story revolves around a young boy named Paul who becomes obsessed with earning money to satisfy his mother’s insatiable need for wealth and luck. He discovers that he can predict the winners of horse races by riding his rocking horse. The central conflict lies in Paul’s struggle to fulfill his mother’s desire for wealth, which ultimately leads to tragic consequences.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Gambling; emotional neglect; implied child death

D.H. Lawrence, Author

  • Bio: Born 1885, died 1930; English author, poet, and playwright; known for his exploration of emotional and sensual themes as well as his critique of industrialization and materialism; his work was often controversial and challenged societal norms of his time
  • Other Works: Sons and Lovers (1913); The Rainbow (1915); Women in Love (1920); Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Guide:

  • The Unhealthy Relational Dynamic of Emotional Incest
  • Luck: Fortune and Providence
  • The Malignant Insatiability of Greed

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Guide, students will:

  • Develop an understanding of the historical and literary contexts regarding the use of the Oedipus complex as a form of social commentary in Lawrence’s allegory of greed and materialism during the Victorian era.