Modern Literature

· @tasali · ELIT401, Week 3-1

Analyze The Rocking-Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence using the Freudian Psychoanalysis techniques.

The book is an example critique of the family structure in mostly modernist view in the same era. We can say that some parts of the book is in conflict with the feminist point of view.

Paul, Hester’s son, is aware that his mother doesn’t love him or his sisters. His father is an unsuccessful and unlucky middle-class man whose only objective is to earn more money. The family is living on a high standard, more than they could actually afford, and Hester thinks, by marrying an unsuccessful husband, she also became unlucky. Paul wants to fix this and tells his mother that he is not unlucky.

The house is haunted by voices whispering “There must be more money”. On one Christmas eve, Paul gets a rocking-horse. This increases the voices whispering.

At some point, again, Paul’s uncle, Oscar Creswell, learns that Paul is able predict horses that will win in race, and he has been working with the gardener, Bassett, sharing prizes.

In Freudian Psychoanalysis, a successful father figure is what ends Oedipus Complex and help a boy move on with his life. In this story, we don’t see it. Another Freudian complex that we can associate with the story is Superiority Complex where the family is constantly trying to earn more money. This complex may be triggered by Inferiority complex pushed to the id side of unconscious, and is now a disillusionment.

See the slides for more details.