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Say What? (A Response To The Surprises Of “Shocking Accident” And “Rocking Horse Winner”)

1384 words - 6 pages

In the story, “Rocking Horse Winner,” a little boy has a rocking horse. It is a very dear toy to him. The boy grows up with his mother always complaining about how unlucky she thinks she is. She, without knowing it, affects her son in a very negative way. He makes it his job to prove his mother wrong. He figures out that through some sort of crazy magic, his rocking horse can predict the winners of horse races and tell the boy. Maybe it’s actually a rocking unicorn. Its horn is invisible, or maybe it was surgically removed when the unicorn was turned into plastic, and its rainbow coloured hair painted brown. Somehow, though it could still use its magical powers and talk to a boy. ...view middle of the document...

“Mr. Wordsworth left his desk rapidly and went to the window.” He can’t hold his composure, and has the sensibility to try to hide it. In the end of the story, the boy has grown up, and is going to get married. His fiance has not yet heard the story of his father’s death. The boy, now a young man, really hopes to avoid the awkwardness of this happening, but inevitably, it comes up, and his aunt tells the woman. To his relief, she doesn’t find it funny at all and the awkward situation he had been dreading for many days has been averted! Everything turns out just fine. This is very surprising. In fact, the ending of “Shocking Accident” surprised me more than that of “Rocking Horse Winner.”
First of all, I read “The Rocking Horse Winner” first. That story, from the beginning, gave me the feeling that something horrible was going to happen. Greed never results in happiness. The mood of the story made it obvious that something bad would happen in the end. From the moment when the house started whispering, “There must be more money,” I knew that something was wrong. Then, I learned about an evil, unicorn amputee who dies his hair brown and enjoys manipulating little boys. If that doesn’t make your skin crawl, there is something wrong with you. My point is that when I listened to the professional reader and read along, I could see right through the story, and it was no surprise that the end was a tragic one.
On the contrary, “A Shocking Accident” is more ambiguous in the middle. I had no clue what would happen next. I think that this story was better even though its moral is less obvious, and arguably, less meaningful. It was much more surprising when I found out how that one ends. I was expecting another tragic ending, after just reading “The Rocking Horse Winner.” At first, I thought the book was missing a page. I was thinking, “Where is the tragic ending that’s going to make me want to lock myself in my room and bawl my eyeballs right our of their sockets?” Well, there was no tragic ending. It was a happy ending. I went back and read the last page, and confirmed that the story ended happily, and my eyeballs were spared, at least until I read “Demon Lover.” “‘They most certainly had it for dinner,’ Jerome said happily and kissed the dear child again.” I love stories that end happily like this. This story was like in all of the cliche movies when someone is sliding or rolling toward a cliff, and certain, bloody, death. They somehow manage to grab on to the edge of the cliff. There’s a moment of silence, and then, the camera pans over the edge of the cliff to show the character with a constipated expression on his face. The camera moves slowly back as the dude pulls himself back over the edge of the cliff, all the while, making grunting noises...

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