The “Rocking-Horse Winner” is a novel written by D.H. Lawrence. The novel was published in Harper’s Bazaar in 1926 after which it appeared in Lawrence’s first volume of short stories. The novel is composed of four characters; Paul, Hester, Basset, and Oscar Creswell. Hester, Paul’s’ mother is more lively and well illustrated than the other three characters. This paper will explicate the character “Hester” by analyzing her characters as well as pointing out metaphors and similes pertaining to her in the novel.
Hester’s relationship with her kids, especially Paul, and her feelings about the relationship between fate and affluence offer insight into her categorization. Although she strives through the motion of being a good mother to the extent of deceiving her fellow colleagues, she is incapable of hiding the reality from her children. Lawrence uses these elements to show that Hester is greedy and her fixation with fate and money results to a serious obsession for her son, Paul.
By demonstrating Hester’s body language, her features are extensively revealed. The author shows that Hester is an introvert especially when she tries “to hide something from Paul” (Lawrence 367). Her insensitivity is seen through the fact that she pays “no attention to Paul’s assertion” (Lawrence 367).
The author shows that Hester is self-centered and this is seen when she “hid the letter under the pile of others, and said not a word about it” (Lawrence 375). The improvement in her personality is clearly demonstrated when she has “sudden strange seizures of easiness about Paul” (Lawrence 378) and this consequently magnifies her humanitarian side.
The author uses dialogue to portray Hester’s nature. At first, she has a negative perception towards work as seen in the statement “I will see if I can’t make something” (365).Her pessimistic character is further seen when conversing with her son as shown below,
Paul: “But why are we poor, mother””
Hester: “Well – I suppose it’s because your father has no luck.” (Lawrence 366)
In the conversation, Hester blames Paul’s father for her bad luck.
As the story progresses, Hester becomes more affectionate. For instance, she worries about her son and says “promise me you won’t let your nerves go to pieces…promise you won’t think so much about horse racing and events” (Lawrence 377).
Metaphors and Similes in the short story that pertain to the character “Hester”
Lawrence uses direct metaphors and similes to enhance Hester’s personality. The story starts with a metaphor that illustrates Hester’s unloving behavior. This is sen in the statement, “she felt that her children had been thrust upon her, and she could not love them” (Lawrence 365). The metaphor “deep lines…into her face” is used to depict her egocentric personality. The author states that “Hester is like a big monster” (Lawrence 9) due to her unloving and pessimistic traits.
Lawrence uses outstanding writing tools to depict Hester’s character traits. The fact that her character changes throughout the story makes the story interesting to the reader.
Lawrence, David. The Rocking-Horse Winner. Boston: Dramatic Publishers. 2011. Print.