The dramatic short story "The rocking horse winner," is about a young boy who desires to be loved by his mother. The author, D.H. Lawrence develops a theme that states, the desire for money and social status is a destructive force. The story is about a young boy named Paul who tries to win his mothers love by gambling for money. Paul has a supernatural power which he can commute with his rocking horse to find out the winning races. However, in the end Paul tries too hard to win his mothers love and dies. The moral theme is revealed through Paul, who is the protagonist, and his relationships with the characters. The relationships which result in conflict is between Paul's mother and father, between mother and Paul, Oscar and Paul and Paul and himself. The standard of living in their society is very important to Paul's family but it becomes a destructive force. The symbolism unrolls the theme by Paul's wooden rocking horse, his wild eyes and the whispering within the house. Thus, the theme is revealed by the use of relationships, and symbolism which in the end leads Paul to his awful death.
D.H. Lawrence accomplishes the theme by using dramatic relationships with the characters. Paul's mother, Hester is determined to fit in with society but she does not notice that her desires are ruining her family. A conversation with Hester and Paul displays how she feels about Paul. Hester believes that being lucky is the key to becoming rich, but her belief has a large impact on Paul. Paul is determined to receive his mothers attention when he says "I'm a lucky person," and then she goes on to say "excellent," but in a sarcastic manner, which makes him more compelled in receiving her attention. Also, when Paul started winning the horse races he decided to give his mother 5000 pounds and when it arrived in the mail Paul asks "didn't you have anything nice in the post for your Birthday, mother?"her reply is "Quite moderately nice." The author displays that even when his mother receives what she desires she is still longing for more wealth which in the end results in Pauls death and her realization of what has become of her family. Paul's mother reveals her feeling towards her husband. In a conversation between the mother and Paul, Paul asks if she feels that she is lucky and her reply is "I can't be if, I married an unlucky husband." The mother associates love by how successful one is, and this reveals that since her husband does not earn enough money she does not have love for him or even Paul. The mother also states in the conversation "I used to think I was, before I married. Now I think I am very unlucky indeed." In the end Paul's mothers greed pushes him to the limit. Oscar is Paul's uncle, and like Paul is interested.