THE ROCKING-HORSE WINNER – A TALK BY DR. KASTURI KANTHAN

Every once in a while comes a talk that is unique in its own sense. This talk by Dr. Kasturi Kanthan, is most certainly one of them. Held in the Lab 2 of the Psychology Department of Lady Shri Ram College, at 11:30, Thursday (24-09-2015), it took the audience into a swirling experience of possibilities and varied interpretation, whilst connecting the story to the author, D.H. Lawrence’s life.

The story of the Rocking Horse Winner follows the intrinsically troubled relationship of a mother and a son, with the underlying tone of Oedipal Complex. The father is mostly missing from the story, with the uncle acting as a fatherly figure. It is about a family who lives lavishly, despite having a dire need for money. The silence of their household would always echo with the sound of “We need more money”, although no one admits it overtly. The son tries to “win” over his mother, by providing her with a comfortable life, and taking to betting. The story ends tragically with the death of the son, and the stark indifference with which it is shown in the story.

Though D.H. Lawrence was staunchly against Freud, most of his stories, especially this, is profoundly based on the concepts of psychoanalytic theories. Dr. Kanthan, very rightly brought out all the interpretations, while accepting what others had to say about it. It was a mind-boggling session of questions and answers by both ends. With fascinating discussions on topics such as the horse as a symbol of sexuality, about Lady Freida with whom Lawrence eloped, the autistic first-born of Lady Freida and how this story may be based on Lawrence’s observation of her, and the secret mistake of a profound revelation by the author in the story, the atmosphere of the session transcended beyond anything experienced by the department.

The talk ended with a whole lot of explorations and a promise of a similar talk on a similar story in the near future, much to the excitement of the students privileged to be present there.

Reported By: Mitakshara Medhi

Photo Credits: Disha Kanojia

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