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A Story a Day #36: D. H. Lawrence




March 21st, 2020

"The Rocking-Horse Winner"

D. H. Lawrence


A mother deems herself unlucky despite being beautiful as she has no real love for her children and her family is not wealthy. She tells her son that she is unlucky and he decides he is going to be lucky. He begins to furiously ride this rocking horse until he gets a premonition of which horse will win an upcoming race. He shares this with his uncle and their gardener. After a couple of races, of which he is right about, his premonitions go away. He decides he must know who wins the Derby so he rides his rocking horse until he nearly passes out, but he does come up with the name. He is right and he has won eighty thousand pounds from winning, but he dies later from exhaustion.


This is a weird little story. There are many unsettling things that keep happening such as the voices that come from the house, or the horse. While the notion behind a boy wanting to be lucky for his mother is a sweet one, there is something uneasy about the whole thing. The whole process of a boy going to races and betting should be fun and lighthearted but it doesn't seem that way. There's also something oddly sexual about this boy riding this horse until he collapses. I didn't quite like all these strange things and although the ending wasn't surprising, it felt like a let down.

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