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Word Count: 939
The Rocking-Horse Winner opens with the distant singsong voice of a fairy tale There was a woman who was beautiful who started with all the advantages yet she had no luck So begins an ancient tale A brave young boy is challenged by his true love He rides off into a dreamland where he struggles and succeeds at attaining secret knowledge He brings the secret knowledge back and with it wins treasure houses of gold giving all to his love Undercutting this fairy tale however is another which forms a grotesque shadow a nightmare counter to the wish fulfillment narrative The true love of the brave young boy is his cold-hearted mother The quest he has embarked on is hopeless for every success brings a new and greater trial Like the exhausted and terrified daughter in Rumplestitlskin this son is perpetually set the task of spinning more gold In this tale no magical dwarf comes to the childs aid the boy finally spins himself out dropping dead on his journey his eyes turned to stone Like all good fairy tales this one has several complementary levels of reference social familial psychological On the social level the tale reads as a satire on the equation of money love luck and happiness The target of the satire the mother cannot be happy without an unending flow of cold sure cash As she sees it luck and lucre are the same thing Yearning for some response and real affection from her Gdog adds the term love making a solid tragic construction Quite simply the tale concludes that these equations are deadly The mother representing a society run on a money ethic has given the younger generation a murderous education On a familial level the tale dramatizes an idea implied as early as Sons and Lovers but overtly stated only in a late autobiographical fragment and these last tales The idea is that mothers shape their sons
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