“The Rocking-Horse Winner”

“The Rocking-Horse Winner”
DH Lawrence
Your Name: ________________________
Group Members: ________________________
Period ________
You will be assigned groups; each group will be given specific questions they need to address
and then lead discussion for the rest of the class on those questions. However, all groups are
responsible for answering questions 1, 2, and 12.
None of your answers should be just a couple of words.
1. a. What is the opening line of the short story?
b. Describe the tone and style of this line?
c. What are the implications of this tone for the short story as a whole?
2. Write at least 3 sentences analyzing each character:
a. The mother (Hester)
b. The son (Paul)
c. The Uncle (Oscar)
For questions 3-11, you must provide an analytical answer and textual support.
3. a. Although the children's father is mentioned in "The Rocking-Horse Winner," he seldom
appears and is never named. Why do you think the mother's brother, Uncle Oscar, has a larger
role to play in this story?
b. What do you think the text is saying about the role of men in the raising of their sons?
4. Analyze the relationship between mother and son.
5. Analyze the relationship between “luck” and “love.”
6. Analyze the relationship between the natural and the supernatural (the realistic and the
7. Look up the concept of “liminality” and/or “liminal.” How might this concept inform an
interpretation of the text?
8. The narrator often mentions Paul’s eyes in this story. Why? Find some of the different ways
that he describes them.
9. a. Describe Paul’s relationship with his rocking-horse? How does he treat it?
b. How does the rocking-horse function symbolically?
10. What is the short story saying about consumerism?
11. Lawrence wrote during the peak of Freudian analysis and was a believer in many, though not
all, of Freud’s theories. How are the following concepts utilized in Lawrence’s short story?
a. Oedipal complex
b. Repression
12. Choose an excerpt from the text of 20-30 lines; paste that excerpt here in small font. Then,
write a brief (100-200 word) commentary on the importance of the excerpt you chose.