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The Rocking Horse Winner By D.H. Lawrence Is Hester Really Evil?

1147 words - 5 pages

Only Hester Is MotherWhen one first reads "The Rocking-Horse Winner" by D. H. Lawrence, one sees that it is a story about a little boy who rides his rocking horse to secretly gain money to buy his mother the happiness that she so secretly aches for. It is in retrospect, however, that one realizes that the story is not about the little boy but rather about his mother Hester and how she secretly loves her son, Paul.To see that Hester is actually the focus of the story, readers must first try to get to know her through understanding her character and personality. It is within the first few pages that we learn that Hester is a beautiful woman who "started life with all the advantages, yet had no luck" and that she had once loved her unlucky husband, but that love had "turned to dust" (Lawrence 1). It is by closely examining this and other corresponding information that readers can come to the conclusion that Hester defines herself not by who she is but by what she has. Take, for example, her marriage.Hester describes her husband not as being loving, compassionate, or hardworking, but rather by being unlucky (Lawrence 2). In fact, his name is never mentioned in the story, somewhat alluding to the feelings of dislike towards him from his wife. But one must wonder why she dislikes him so much and why she no longer loves him. In fact, Hester even answers these questions for the reader via her actions throughout the story. Her answers are not that he is unlucky, but rather that his unluckiness causes a lack of money which could assure that the family's appearance is maintained.Hester also defines herself by her appearances. This is best exampled when she receives the birthday money from her son Paul. At first she is not satisfied with the 1000 pounds and must have all 5000 pounds at once (Lawrence 14). How does she spend her newly acquired sum? Not surprisingly, she spends most of it on the family's appearances. As Magill Book Reviews tells us, "[Hester] redecorates, fills the rooms with flowers and the nursery with new toys" (1). As Lawrence so eloquently puts it, there was "a blossoming of the luxury Paul's mother had been used to" (14).However greedy and focused on appearances that Hester is, she is not completely uncaring of her children, especially her eldest son Paul. When she receives the money from Paul, she does spend most of it on the family's appearances but not all of it: "Paul had a tutor[, and h]e was really going to Eton, his father's school, in the following autumn" (Lawrence 14). This instance in the story alludes to the fact that Paul's mother does indeed care for him, as she provides him with a tutor and tuition to go to Eton in the fall.Although other instances throughout the story help to convince the observant audience of "The Rocking-Horse Winner" that Paul's mother does indeed love him, it is Hester's behavior at the end of the story that fully convinces the audience members of Hester's love for her eldest son Paul: "Two nights...

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