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Compare And Contrast: Rocking Horse Winner And The Destructors

905 words - 4 pages

Does the possession of money or material possessions lead to happiness? Or doesit lead to destruction? In his story "The Rocking Horse Winner," D.H. Lawrencedepicts an example of how the pursuit of materialistic items will lead to destruction."The Destructors" by Graham Greene also exemplifies the pursuit of material satisfactionin the form of notoriety which also leads to destruction. These authors argue that thepursuit of material possessions gives a false sense of happiness, and that this pursuit only leads to destruction.In both stories the authors create characters who believe that the pursuit ofmaterialistic ends will lead to happiness. In "The Rocking Horse Winner," Paul's mother, in a search for happiness, equates having "stuff" with her social status, which the author illustrates with the statement that "...[ they ] felt themselves superior to anyone in the neighborhood" (Lawrence 302). This woman wants her notoriety. "The mother had a small income, the father had a small income, but not nearly enough for the social position..." (Lawrence 302). To achieve this she needs money. To her, this equation is the solution to her happiness.However, her problem is that the more she acquires, the more she wants. The author illustrates this spiraling desire by showing what happened when the household gains more possessions: "And yet the voices in the house... simply trilled and screamed...there must be more money! Oh-h-h there must be more money. Oh, now, now-w! Now-w there must be more money - more than ever..." (Lawrence 311). The money from Paul does not quench her thirst, but only serves to make her thirstier.In "The Destructors," Trevor brings up an idea to destroy an old man's house. The Wormsley Common car-park gang would be famous: "There would be headlines in the paper." (Greene 120). The Wormsley gang would even receive notoriety, a certain social standing among other gangs, even the biggest of gangs in their town. "Even the grown up gangs...and the barrow boys would hear with respect..." (Greene 120). Thesefeelings of a certain standing among fellow gangs, "Driven by the pure, simple, andaltruistic ambition of fame for the gang..." (Greene 120), is what leads to not just abashing of Mr. Thomas's house but an all out, total destruction.Putting too much into the pursuit of material items or money, to extremes, only leads to destruction. For example, the mother's definition of happiness is equal to money, which equals how lucky an individual is. "It's what causes you to have money. If you're lucky you have money" (Lawrence 303). The more luck you have, the moremoney and happiness you also possess. Paul, determined to be...

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