This literary comparative essay gives an insight of differences and similarities that are revealed in “The Rocking Horse Winner” and the “Hamlet”. “The Rocking Horse winner” is a story that is based on the social status and desire for money as the main themes. The story is authored by D.H. Lawrence who focuses on the story of the young boy, Paul, who thinks that by winning his mother love, he has to search wealth though gambling His mother thinks that they would be rich if Paul would be lucky. Paul asks his mother why they are happy and the mother answered that “it is because your father has no luck” (Lawrence, p.7). He applies his supernatural powers to Travel with his rocking horse to reveal the winning races. Unfortunately, Paul meets his death while he was trying his level best to win his mother’s love. On the other hand, “Hamlet” is a play written by Shakespeare about a young man, Hamlet, who returns from the university and finds out that his father, Old Hamlet, had passed away and her mother had been married his father’s brother. Hamlet feel disgusted and betrayed by his mother, since he loved his father and he did not imagine that his mother would pass the throne to his uncle, who takes over as a king.
The two stories are based on the young men who show their love of their parents in different ways. In “the rocking horse winner”, Paul reveals his love to his mother by being obsessed to material items as the only means to make his mother happy (Lawrence, p.6). This reveal that Paul was determined to do anything he could just to make sure that his mother is happy and proud for him. For instance, when Paul reveals to his mother that he is lucky her mother answers “Excellent” to suggest that she support his idea (Lawrence, P.8). This drives him to the extensive end where he drains his attention towards attaining his goal of luck and forgets his moral principles. The desire for money grows beyond his control and leads him to fell ill and dies later.
On the other hand, “Hamlet” also takes the young man as the foundation of the story. However, instead of the young man, Hamlet, love his mother he felt betrayed and hated his mother for his actions. According to his opinion his mother’s haste to remarry indicated that she did not love her former husband. This makes Hamlet being suspicious of his mother’s involvement in the death of his father. To reveals how Hamlet loved his father, he decided to deal with the situation and take revenge upon his father’s murderer and the atrocity that is committed by his uncle. No matter how hard this revenge would be Hamlet was so determined to deal with the murderer of his father. Despite the fact that he was spied upon and he could not take matter into his hand, he kept his plan as a secret and acted enigmatically. He even acted insane to overcome the physical violence and emotions of the situation of his father being killed by his family members. Hamlet did all this because he loved his father and he would never give up until his father’s murderer pays for his action.
In the two stories there is family responsibility carried out by the two young men but it is done in different views. In the “The Rocking Horse winner”, Paul takes responsibility of providing for his family which was poor. Paul realized that there was inadequate money to sustain their family and this made him determined to get a way to find money through luck (Lawrence, p.23). However, his responsibility did not follow the right path since he become more obsessed of money rather than taking responsibility of the family. His greed for money leads him into his death.
Similarly, in the “Hamlet”, Hamlet takes the responsibility fighting for the justice of his father who was murdered. Hamlet believed that his father was “Hyperion to satyr; so loving to my mother” (Shakespeare, p.42). Despite the fact that he speaks of his father with admiration and loyalty, his tone revealed his deepest feeling to be betrayed by his mother’s marriage to his uncle Claudius. During his speech, Claudius says that “remembering at the same time our own interests and responsibility we have married our former sister-in-law (Shakespeare, p.35). To make the matter worse, when his mother dies, he is more triggered to carry out his long waited plan of revenge. He felt that he is the only family member standing to take the responsibility and protect his family and finally committed a crime by killing his uncle. However, his actions contrary to “The rocking horse winner”, were driven by anger and love for his parents. He was taking these actions in the revenge for his parents. In the “Hamlet”, Paul’s actions were initially driven by his love for his mother but it turned out to be driven by the obsession of material things.
In the both stories, the two mothers can be termed as selfish and greedy. They are determined to be successful in the society but they do not realize that their actions are ruining their family. The actions, which are driven by greed, ruin the life of their son instead of teaching them how to become successful in their lives. Paul’s mother is not interested in making her family comfortable but to buy good-looking items. Her greed and selfishness caused her to sneak, lie and hide the money that would be shared among the family members including his husband. She is not concerned of her husband and the other members of the family. The mother believed that lucky is the main source of wealth and she believed that her son was in the correct path towards success. This motivated Paul, little did he knew that he was going in the wrong direction than the desires for money prohibited him to do the right thing.
Similarly, Hamlet’s mother abandoned his family’s responsibility of caring for them and caused the death of her husband so that she can be married to her brother in law. When Hamlet brings the memories of his late father, his mother tells him to “cast thy knighted colour off thou know’st ‘tis common: all lives must die” (Shakespeare, p.38). Hamlet feels that his mother let him down by suggesting that death is common and remarrying his uncle too soon and viewed this as a selfish act. Similarly to “the rocking horse winning”, Hamlet’s mother was not concerned to his husband and she thought that her life would be comfortable if she would be married to her brother in law rather than her former husband.
In conclusion, the both stories are based the young men who are misled by their irresponsible mothers. Their mother carried out actions of greedy and selfish that decided the fate of their ending. However, while Paul becomes obsessed of the material items, hamlet becomes obsessed of executing his secret plan which was to kill his uncle. In the end hamlet subjects himself in his own psychological cloud, which indicates his inability to revenge against his uncle even when he had an opportunity to kill him (Shakespeare, p.217). Bin a nutshell it can be argued that the both characters, Paul and Hamlet become victims of unpleasant situation of their mothers’ creation.
William Shakespeare; Alan Durband. Hamlet. heltenham, England: Stanley Thornes, 1986.
D H Lawrence. The rocking-horse winner. Kessinger Publisher, 1967