Rocking Horse Winner And The Destructors

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There are many differences and similarities between Graham Greene's "The Destructors" and D. H. Lawrence's "Rocking Horse Winner." One general difference is that in "The Destructors" the setting is in Great Britain, after the bombing had happened during World War 1, when the buildings were destroyed. The setting of "Rocking Horse Winner" is a suburban community located on the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland. This one distinct difference affects the entire background of each story. The setting of "The Destructors" brings mood and feeling into the story were ass the setting of "Rocking Horse Winner" is just a general setting which could be changed and would not have a significant affect on the story as a whole. One general similarity between the two stories is that they both have a young boy as the main character, but the use of this character is very different in each story.

The boy in "Rocking Horse Winner" is more innocent and unknowing of the evil the world can hold, he also hasn't reached the rebellion stage of adolescence. In the other story "The Destructors" you have "T" who comes from a high class English family but is forced into poverty by the war, but he has already begun his rebellion against what is "good." The similarities and differences between money, class, and family values in the stories are much more significant because they have more affect on each story and on the reader. One of the key differences between "The Destructors" and "Rocking Horse Winner" is the working class of each family. In "The Destructors" the families of the children are poor and live in shambled houses and walk down rumbled streets with craters in random areas of the neighborhood. The children in the story do not seem to be affected by this very much, since they have all pretty much lived there entire lives like this, except "T" who comes from an "upper class" family but is forced into poverty by the war. To him and the other boys in the story money seems to be of no great significance

The awkward thing about the family in "Rocking Horse Winner" is that they all maintain an "upper class" status even though they are short on money. This is hard on the family especially the mother who can feel no love because of the stress that has been forced upon her heart. The family still maintains there lifestyle as members of the "upper class" even though the line of money continues to get shorter and shorter. Money in each story is scarce, but how the characters in each story cope with this shortage is very different. In Graham Greene's "The Destructors" the children know that they are not part of the "upper class" but it has minimal affect to there ego or there self esteem. The need for money is not there.

In D. H. Lawrence's "Rocking Horse Winner" the affect is completely opposite. The family in "Rocking Horse Winner" is part of the "upper class" but the money is not there to uphold this status for much longer. This is known by the children but there is little or nothing they can do to help. The children start to hear haunting whispers coming from the walls of the house, "There must be more money, there must be more money." This startles the children and even scares them a little bit, but the two girls pay little attention to it.

The young boy, Paul, on the other hand is haunted by these whispers daily and tries to find "luck", which in turn would bring him and his family money, and hopefully by getting money the in would make the haunting whispers of the house go away. The boy is later found riding his rocking horse in a startling manner. He then gets off and says"Well, I got there!" (305 RHW) When asked where he got to by his mother he responds "Where I wanted to go." His mother nor his family know of his pursuit of "luck." His pursuit of "luck" is finding out which horse is going to win the next race and he is right time and time again and ends up winning more and more money, but even with all this money the whispers still come and they don't stop till Paul dies of sickness after winning eighty thousand pounds. These two stories are very similar and very different in many ways. This shows the difference in taste of the author, the reader, and the characters. Money, class, and family values are very important to a family and have a significant affect on them if not held to a high standard.

The importance of money and class is not shown in Graham Greene's "The Destructors" because I think the author was trying more to show how families are affected by war and how the war can affect all different classes of people and put them all into one class. Greene shows how the war can positively and negatively affect a community and how it can also affect the minds of young people, which can change there entire view on life. These are two great stories that show pain and happiness but ultimately the pain shines through.

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