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The theme is shown through the characters and their actions. Lawrence, the emphasis on luck, materialism and money by Paul's loved ones drives him apart, and all he seeks is love and acceptance.The family’s expenditure exceeds its income and creates unspoken tension and this affects the relationships in the family.
Even though she has three children out of the marriage, she could not love them, and does not even love herself for she is troubled by a feeling of failure.
The closest she ever comes to finding love is through her son, Paul, but she rejects him too.
Her desire for money is insatiable, instead, they lead to disastrous results when she confuses money with love.
In her pursuit of more money, Hester loses some basic family values.
This desire for luck was so severe that she won't even love her children or husband because of their lack of luck.
Paul accepts his mother's desire and thinks luck is an important trait to have.He does this by riding his rocking horse so that he can get to a state in which he can be sure about the winning horse.He remains sick on the day of the Derby but Bassett places bets on the horse that was identified by Paul, and even places a bet for Paul.Paul has a gift of picking the winning horse in horse races.His mother, Hester, in contrary, has no luck and even though she is outwardly successful, she is troubled by a feeling of failure.For example, when Paul explains to his mother that he's lucky and God told him, his mother responds bitterly, "I hope he did dear!" This demonstrates the mother's great regard for luck and for those she loves to be lucky.Uncle Oscar also values money and gambles frequently and doesn't perceive a boy gambling at a young age to be a problem.All these characters are the components to explain the story's theme and illustrations of the author's view on luck, materialism and money.Following in his families footsteps Paul also aspires for great sums of money through gambling.Furthermore, he practices materialism in pretending to ride the winning horse on his rocking horse in order to determine the winning horse.