The Rocking Horse Winner – Child in Conflict with the Adult World
Adult conflicts come to Paul when he first sees the financial problems in his house. As a young child Paul was forced into learning about the finance issues causing him to react to the situation. Paul is continually hearing the words “There must be more money! There must be more money! The children could hear it all the time, though nobody said it aloud… ‘There must be more money; oh-h-h; there must be more money, oh, now-w-w! Now-w-w – there must be more money! – More than ever! More than ever! ’” (Lawrence 19-29).
Paul a twelve year old boy is feeling the burden of providing money for the family. Hearing the words “there must be more money” repeated throughout the house causes Paul to worry about what kind of financial situation his family is in. As a young child he should not know about the family’s income problems. However, through the whispering he learns of it. Paul should be out having fun with his friends not worrying about money. Since Paul heard of the financial problems in the house he took it upon himself to find a way to provide for the family.
Paul is forced into the adult world through learning about the financial problems in the family and trying to provide for them. Paul is starting to be fully introduced to adult conflict though the risks of gambling. Gambling can cause a person to become very rich or very poor quickly. Paul would place money on the horses “’Good! Good! Right you are! A fiver for me and a fiver for you on Daffodil’ … Paul was “sure” about Lively Spark which was a quite inconsiderable horse. The boy [Paul] insisted on putting a thousand on the horse. ”(Lawrence 24-27).
As a child Paul should not be exposed to the adult world of gambling. Gambling is a risky game to play and Paul as a young boy doesn’t fully comprehend what he is getting into. Paul is betting thousands of dollars on horses which he may lose. Paul does not see the stress that gambling is putting on him but instead continues to gamble the money he has made. Gambling takes over what he does when he tries to figure out who the next winner will be. Paul gets stressed about not knowing the winner “But even for the Lincoln he didn’t ‘know’ and he lost fifty pounds.
He became wild eyed and strange as if something were going to explode in him. ” (Lawrence 29). Paul is now feeling the effects of gambling and does not know how to react to them. At such a young age Paul is not ready to lose money and he cannot handle the fact that he is. The stress that gambling has put on him to win is now catching up to him when he loses. The action that Paul is taking through gambling is an adult game and one with which he is not ready for. A young child should not be the main provider of income for a family. Paul is now worried that his family does not have enough money.
Paul would place money into the bank for his family, “Paul at the others suggestion, handed over five thousand pounds to his uncle who deposited it with the family lawyer. ”(Lawrence 28). Paul was becoming the main source of income for the family. He was more worried about having a steady income for the family over having friends to play with. The mother’s expensive lifestyle was now being paid for by Paul, a young child. Children should not be worried about whether their family is going to have money or not. Paul was now fully taken out of the world as a child.
He became the main source of income for his family. He was now constantly worried about the situation of finances, an adult problem. Paul was in conflict with the adult world when he became the main provider for his family instead of being a kid and having fun while being provided for by his parents. Throughout the story Paul is in conflict with the adult world. In “The Rocking Horse Winner”, author D. H Lawrence uses Paul the protagonist to display the child in conflict with the adult world. Paul was first introduced to financial problems a reoccurring problem in the adult world.
He then started to gamble and became the main source of income for his family from this. A young boy should not be doing these things for his family. These conflicts may arise every day in the adult world but are not typically problems for children. Children are now being forced into this world of adult conflict at a young age and the protagonist Paul was a victim of this in the story “The Rocking Horse Winner. ” Works Cited Lawrence, D. H. “The Rocking Horse Winner. ” Viewpoints 12 Ed. Sarah Swartz. 5th Edition Toronto: Pearson Education Canada Inc. 2002. Print.