D.H. Lawrence. "The Rocking-Horse Winner". Reading Questions.

  1. Read the first paragraph carefully, especially the first two sentences. What is the mother's view of her family life? How does she view her relationship with her children.
  2. What is lacking in the relationship among the family members?
  3. Why do you think the mother is no longer in love with her husband? Do you think she ever was?
  4. What is the cause of the anxiety in the home?
  5. Where do YOU think the whispering "There must be more money!" is coming from?
  6. Do you think the family is poor? Support your answer.
  7. When Paul asks his mother what is luck, what is her answer? Do you agree?
  8. According to the mother, why does she think she is unlucky? Do you think she is unlucky? Why?
  9. How does Paul find luck?
  10. Why do you think Paul wants to give the money to his mother, and why does he not want his mother to know about it?
  11. Paul's mother wants to have all of the money at once. What does that tell you about her character? What is her obsession?
  12. Once the mother gets the money you would expect the voices in the house to stop, but instead they "suddenly went mad, like a chourus of frogs on a spring evening". Why do you think the voices did not stop?
  13. The narrator does not tell us about the mystery of the rocking-horse until the end of the story. What effect does that have on the reader?
  14. What is the irony in the boy's last speech?
  15. What is the story saying about consumerism?
  16. In what way is the boy's furious riding on the rockin horse an appropriate symbol for materialistic pursuits?
  17. How are the people in the story affected by materialism?
  18. Here is a short video clip of the last scene in the story.