Essay about Compare and Contrast the Destructors and the Rocking Horse Winner

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Pages: 6

Graham Greene’s “The Destructor’s”, and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Rocking Horse Winner” (Both stories reprinted in Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson, Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, 9th ed. [Boston: Wadsworth] 111-124, 285-298) are two short stories set in post-war England. Despite the similarities of both stories set in post-war eras of Great Britain, the mood and physical settings are vastly different. In fact, the stories each give differing amounts of details and clues about the setting. For instance, “The Destructors” setting is easily discernable, but in contrast, “The Rocking Horse Winner” gives only vague clues regarding the time and setting. Regardless of the differences in the amount of details given, the …show more content…
The home in which the story is told is described as pleasant, complete with a garden. The family has luxury items such as nice toys, a pleasant and quiet country home, and the family is said to have servants (286).
The settings of both stories, while taking place in post war England, are obviously different. One is a setting of devastation and destruction, while the other is a setting of beauty and bounty. Not surprisingly then, the mood is also different in each story.
The mood of “The Rocking horse Winner” is clearly stated as anxious as the author writes “Although they lived in style, they felt always an anxiety in the house. There was never enough money.” The mood of anxiety remains constant throughout the story as Paul is ever anxious in trying to secure his mother’s love. Likewise, his mother is always anxious about never having enough money. But her anxiety is not centered on having enough money to provide for her family. Rather, her desire to have more money stems from a materialistic point of view to keep up her family’s social position.
The constant battle of anxiety in the story leads to a sad twist of fate. Though the family seemingly had many material possessions, there was never enough to satisfy Paul’s mother. She always wanted more, and when she was given more she desired to have more than what was given. Her desire to have more material possessions replaced her desire and ability to love her children. Paul