The Rocking Horse

The Rocking Horse
Having too much of anything is bad, but obsessing over it with your life is a decision that may haunt you forever. “Make money your god and it will plague you like the devil.” -Henry Fielding. D.H. Lawrence illustrates the same thing that this quote illustrated many years ago about money and materialism in his story “ The Rocking Horse Winner”. Let materialism consume you and it will control how you operate throughout life. Paul lets acquisitiveness get the most of him. At the end of the story Paul seems like a different person and it is as if he is the puppet and materialism is the puppeteer. Just like playing with fire will hurt you and the ones around you, materialism will do the same. Materialism distorts the things we care about most in life.
Materialism affects the natural thought process of Uncle Oscar. Near the end of the story his nephew is on his deathbed and Uncle Oscar seems to care less. Oscar’s main concern is not with his nephew. He is selfish, “And in spite of himself, Oscar Creswell spoke to Bassett, and himself put a thousand on Malabar: at fourteen to one” (1214). Uncle Oscar does not stutter one bit in placing a bet on the winning horse even though he witnessed his nephews condition first hand. His fixation on money and his greed blind him. Although one of his closest family members is seconds away from dying, all his mind can think about is earning his profit. Even as Paul is lying cold and lifeless, he says “’My God, Hester, you’re eighty-odd thousand to the good, and a poor devil of a son to the bad” (1215). He compares Paul to money and puts him on the negative side of the equation. Materialism distorts Oscar’s brain to the point that he cannot differ between good or evil. Not only does materialism affect Oscar. It also impacts Paul’s life.
Materialism warps Paul’s view about love. Paul is forced to take a provider role in the story. The lack of responsibility from the adults in the story puts a massive amount of pressure on the young, innocent boy. During this moment of tremendous responsibility , his view of love alters because of the weight of the pressure. His mother shows no love for him. In fact, the author says, “Nevertheless, when her children were present, she always felt the center of her heart go cold” (1202). Paul assumes money is the issue and luck also has something to do with it. He tries to fix the problem by forcing himself to be lucky. Paul exclaims to Hester that he is lucky and God told him he was. Hester brushes him off as if he were a fly. Paul takes this seriously and it becomes an obsession to find his mother’s love. The author points out that Paul was “ Absorbed, taking no heed of other people, he went about with a sort of stealth, seeking inwardly luck” (1205). Wanting his mother’s love and obsessing with it hurt him. He let material things get in the way of living life normally. Materialism affected Paul’s view of love and made it seem equal to money. It can also change the priorities of a parent.
Materialism affected the love that Hester and Paul’s father had for their children. Paul’s father is never seen around the house and is barely mentioned in the story and Hester seems too distracted by gaining money in the story although she never achieves her goal. The parents cared more about how their appearance looked than spending time with their children. The author notes “ There was always a grinding sense of shortage of money, though the style was always kept up” (1203). They would rather fix their house and barely get by than live in a normal home and be a great family. This is the base of why Paul’s life ends the way it did. Greediness not only alters the way we see the things we love in life but also affects others around us. Paul’s whole concept of life changes because his mother is too selfish to listen. Materialism changes the priorities in the lives of Hester and Paul’s father. They put material possessions before the love of their children.
Therefore, if one does not have a correct view of life, one cannot live it properly. Doug Horton once said, “Materialism is the only form of distraction from true bliss.” It sidetracks people from living a happy and joyful life. It inflicted between a person’s common sense, distorted a child’s view of love, and kept a mother and father away from their children. In this story materialism destroys an already broken family.

The Rocking Horse 8 of 10 on the basis of 1357 Review.