D. H. Lawrence’s fable of materialism, affluence and a broken mother/son bond echoes greedy transgression. His writings are well-known for delving into human nature and he does an excellent job demonstrating the trait of materialism, morally questioning the value of love versus the hazard of greed. This upper-class family is shattered by avarice; their eventual downfall comes, despite the overwhelming effort of keeping up appearances. The mother’s misplaced affection for her children illustrates the negative results that wealth, destiny, and lack of love will produce -- the dehumanization of society as a whole.
“They lived in a pleasant house, with a garden, and they had discreet servants, and felt themselves superior to anyone in the neighborhood. (100)” Despite their imaginary success, there was always an anxious feeling in the house because they never had enough money. “The father…had good prospects, these prospects never materialized (100).” The mother wanted to make money of her own, but “she racked her brains, and tried this thing and the other, but could not find anything successful. (101)”
The cost of their greed, in this case, is the heart of the family. Because they cannot control their urge to spend, they lose control of what should be most precious: their children. The mother, “a woman who was beautiful, who started with all the advantages (100)” is, in her opinion, devoid of luck. Although she had married for love, the love doesn’t exist any longer. Her feelings of inadequacy towards being wealthy transferred to her own children. She imagined they were somehow put upon her, that “They looked at her coldly, as if finding fault with her (100)” and, therefore, she could not bring herself to show them love. The father, “always very handsome and expensive in his tastes (101)” appeared to be useless at anything he tried. Both parents are guilty of neglecting their relative responsibilities, choosing instead to worship wealth.
Because of their unique obsession with future riches, their home becomes “haunted” by one particular phrase: “There must be more money! (101)” Though this word was never spoken amongst the residents of the house, it was well-known in the minds of all who lived there. “It came whispering from the springs of the still-swaying rocking horse…The big doll, sitting so pink and smirking in her new pram, could hear it quite plainly, and seemed to be smirking all the more self-consciously because of it. (101)” The whisper infiltrated the rooms with its secret, filling each and every corners and cranny, right to the woodwork itself.
The manner with which the author illustrates Paul, the young boy at the heart of the story, is replete with a child’s emotion, as though you are looking through his eyes. When he asked his mother about luck, “it’s because your father has no luck, (101)” she responds. “Is luck money, Mother?” She tells him that luck is the reason you have money, further confusing him with...