Posted at 05.10.2018
A careful reading of the text shows that there are two clear themes operating side-by-side in this storyline. We will discuss both in this newspaper. The major and much more predominant theme is that of greed and desire to have material prosperity in the modern society of England with the exclusion of any moral beliefs or parental duties. The other is the oedipal framework of the story. The protagonist in this tale is Paul, a young and high strung son, who's the eldest between three siblings of a middle class British isles family. Paul is his mother's confidant and it is troubled by the actual fact that his mother is dissatisfied by having less money in the family and that she is convinced his daddy to be unlucky because he couldn't make more money. Paul tries his better to placate his mom and comfort her by gaining additional money and being more "lucky" than his daddy. He strains himself in trying to find a way out of the predicament. He feels compelled to persuade his mom that he's lucky. . . luckier than his dad. In his attempt to earn money he's helped by their gardener Bassett who teaches him the rudiments of wagering on horses. Paul is fascinated also to his surprise discovers that he is actually in a position to make money by "guessing" the name of the being successful horse. He maintains this simple fact a key and Bassett helps him in his venture.
After sometime Paul's uncle Oscar joins the team and it is with his help that Paul can make a present of five thousand pounds, anonymously, to his mother for Xmas. To substantiate the theme we find that Paul's mom is not happy with the initial conditions of the gift idea that she would get a thousand pounds for Christmas each year for five years. In his excited attempt to see her happy he alters the conditions of the gift idea and gives her the complete amount at one go. The mom can do as she pleases for some time but as he retains winning more money the "voices" in the house expand more incessant and goad him to trip his rocking horses in a frenzy of stressed energy. Paul is eager to make enough money to help make the house stop whispering so following a spate of disappointments he is driven to make good by speculating the name of the winner at the Derby. He trips his solid wood rocking equine deliriously and lastly can divine the name of the winner. But in doing so he so irreparably damage his equanimity that he faints and comes off his equine. Before his mother could come to his help he lapses into an unconscious stupor but only after he had pointed out the name of the champion. Bassett alone was able to know very well what "Malabar" designed and he betted on the equine with respect to Paul, who was too sick to do anything by himself. Paul remains stricken for two days and benefits consciousness briefly only to try to reassure his mom that he was lucky. However, Paul dies on the same day as Malabar wins the competition and leaves a legacy of eighty thousand pounds for his mom. The irony of the situation is the fact that even though Paul quit his life to hear one word of love and encouragement from his mom, none emerged to calm his fevered and delirious center. His mother didn't till the end concur with him and agree that he indeed was very blessed for the family.
The selfishness and irresponsibility of Paul's parents, especially his mom, is shown by the fact that despite having an uneasy sense about the young boy's health each goes off to the get together and returning home in the tiny hours of the morning hours, to find that Paul was still awake and rocking madly away on his equine, trying to prophecy and foretell the name of the champion. Hester, Paul's mom, appears to be frigid and heartless as she does not pacify his agitation by once telling him that she cherished him and that he was indeed blessed. She was grasping and dissatisfied and did not even care to comprehend what was ailing her son. To her material prosperity was more important than educating her children good worth and nurturing them with unselfish love.
Freudian interpretation of the theme throws light on Paul's oedipal fixation of showing to his mom that he was luckier than his father because he could make large sums of money and affording her the chance to splurge as much as she pleased. The work of rocking on the solid wood horses, which Paul got outgrown, has sexual connotations. Lawrence has juxtaposed the man-boy image your of the knight in shining armor galloping to save his fairy princess, except that in Paul's circumstance the horse is only a real wood hobby horse and his fairy princess, his mother, does not feel grateful for any his bounty.
Paul, the young protagonist of this story, is a child who assumes the responsibility of elevating the social and materials standard of his family. He will take after his young shoulders the tasks that rightfully must have been executed by his parents. He is fascinated by horse auto racing and soon realizes that he had a special knack for divining the labels of the winners if he rode long enough on his own hobby horse. He tries his best to make his mom happy and to make the home stop whispering. As stated previously he sacrifices his own life in a frenzied attempt to make his mom fret less about money. In this story we start to see the stark difference in the natures of Paul and Hester. His mother is on the main one hand completely selfish and irresponsible while on the other Paul is completely selfless and nice. He will not demand anything for himself and it is happy let his mother have all the money in an attempt to make her happy.
Hester, Paul's frosty and unfeeling mother, had "at the centre of her heart was a difficult little place that could not feel love" (Lawrence, 9). She was a shallow female who was both irresponsible and selfish. She didn't love her children, though she put in inordinate amounts of money for buying pointless household objects. Status was synonymous with power and she off filled her unsatisfied yearning for more income onto her young boy, who had taken it upon himself to make up for his father's shortcomings. It had been her continuously growing demands for the money that drove Paul to a paroxysm of attempting to demonstrate himself to her. In the long run it was she who drove Paul to his untimely grave.
Oscar, Paul's more affluent yet completely callous Uncle is merely as mercenary and shallow as his sister. He can take full advantage of Paul's unusual gift to divine the titles of the winners and makes a fairly pile of money for himself. He's selfish and irresponsible as is borne out by the fact that having validated knowledge that his young nephew was indulging in bets and wagering, he did not once warn his sister of the risk Paul is at, nor performed he make an effort to explain what to Paul and coach him the right worth. He has a wintry heartless streak in him just like Hester and in the end when Paul dies all he believes of is how much money Paul had still left his sister. There is no remorse, no sadness no sympathy for anybody.
Bassett, the gardener, was the only friend and well wisher Paul possessed. It had been Bassett who had launched Paul to betting and playing. But he was the main one who cared for Paul and did not defraud him of any of his profits even though he had ample opportunity to do it. He was the only real person in the family who provided Paul the value and attention that was due to him. So, even though Bassett is a gardener, a mere servant, he shows more matter and looking after Paul than his own parents and family do.
The use of the wooden rocking equine in this story is very significant. It symbolizes the frenzy Paul experiences in his search for more money. The rocking action of the ride has erotic connotations as well, which is a lttle bit disconcerting because Paul is portrayed to be a very young young man. As mentioned somewhere else one of the topics of the storyplot revolves rounded Oedipus complex, manifested in this storyline in Paul seeking to take his father's place by gaining more income for the family and gratifying his mother. The fact that the hobby equine is real wood and does not have any name also signifies the fact that insatiable greed is counterproductive and can take one nowhere equally as the wooden equine was not in a position to travel and take Paul everywhere in any way (Wilson, 235). And finally the rocking equine represents death and unhappiness as it triggers Paul to expire and his mother to be more dissatisfied and unhappy.