The Elements of the Story of the Rocking Horse Winner


1.  Hester- the greedy mother
2   Paul – her son who can “foresee” which horse will win
3.  Uncle Oscar – Paul’s companion at the derby
4.  Bassett – the gardener who Paul considers as his bestfriend and partner in betting at horses

a)  Introduction
This story begins by describing the woman as beautiful yet unlucky because she married a poor man.
b)  Rising Action
Even if they live in style, the woman’s and her husband’s income put together is not enough. Hence, the household has an unspoken phrase: “more money!”
c)  Climax
Paul wins ten thousand at the derby.
d)   Falling action
Although Paul has “foreseen” the winning horse’s name wherein he eventually earns eighty thousand, he falls from the rocking horse.
e)  Denouement
The dying Paul still has his mother on his mind, and he is happy that he won eighty thousand for her.

a)  place –  in England
b)  time-  after World War I
c)  weather conditions – fine
d)  social conditions- the family was poor yet lived in style
e)  mood or atmosphere –tense

The Point of View used in this short story is the Omniscient ObjectiveThe author tells the story in the third person.  It appears as though a camera is following the characters, going anywhere, and recording only what is seen and heard.  There is no comment on the characters or their thoughts. No interpretations are offered.  The reader is placed in the position of spectator without the author there to explain.  The reader has to interpret events on his own.

In my opinion, the literary devices used in this story are Symbolism and Irony.
Symbolism – I believe that the rocking horse here stands for the luck from which Paul gets to “foresee” the winning horse’s name. On the other hand, the household’s unspoken yet dominant phrase “more money” symbolizes greed, selfishness, and materialism.
Irony – The mother gets big money in exchange for her son Paul’s life.

For me, the themes It is not good to be greedy and also Live within your means are applicable to this story.

The conflicts here are Internal:
Man vs. Circumstances (classical)The leading character struggles against fate, or the circumstances of life facing him/her.
The greedy Hester is unhappy about being poor. Meanwhile, Paul is unhappy that his mother is unhappy.
Man vs. Society (social) – The leading character struggles against ideas, practices, or customs of other people.

Tags : Book ReportCommunication Arts
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