British Literature Quiz : The Rocking Horse Winner Name ______________________
Select the best answer for each item. Circle the letter of your answer choice.
1. The opening paragraphs of the story describe a family that is ___ .
a happy but financially troubled
b anxious about money, though obviously not living in poverty
c about to fall apart because of the mother’s inattentiveness
d in mourning for the death of a relative
2. Mainly in the first paragraph the story uses the style of _______.
a a science fiction story
b a mystery
c a horror story
d a fairly tale
3. Paul’s mother blames the family’s troubles on _____ .
a the Depression
b Uncle Oscar, who keeps losing money
c Paul’s father, who has no luck
d family members who keep wastes the inheritance
4. Paul starts betting on horse races because he:
a succumbs to Bassett’s urgings
b listens to the rocking-horse
c hopes to relieve his mother’s anxiety
d . inherits the family’s weakness for gambling
5. Paul’s technique for picking horses is to _____ .
a just guess
b read the racing forms daily
c learn the horse’s name while in an excited trance
d choose the horses based on their names
6. How often do the horses Paul bets on turn out to be winners?
c Only once
7. When Paul’s mother gets the news that she has received money from a relative, she
reacts by ____ .
a being happy and grateful
b greedily asking to receive the money all at once
c being insulted that the relative thinks she can’t manage the money by herself
d ruining everything by trying to find out the identity of the relative
8. The story portrays the character of Paul as:
a immoral beyond redemption
b victimized by his parents’ greed
c .spoiled and irresponsible
d passive in the face of opportunity
9. Paul’s attitude towards luck is that ___ .
a other people are to blame for the loss of luck
b luck and money are not related
c people can create their own luck
d luck can replace the need for hard work
10 Why did Paul not want to go to the seaside with his family during the summer?
a he didn’t want his mother to spend money on unnecessary things
b he was afraid Basset would cheat him of his winnings if he left
c he needed to stay and ride his rocking horse to predict the derby winner
d he was afraid his uncle would find out the secret of how he could know the winning
11 At the end of the story, Paul _____ .
a dies from exhaustion
b has learned an important lesson
c is able to go to the best college in England
d is poor and disillusioned
12 At the end of the story, Paul’s mother _____ .
a is rich
b is poor
c appreciates what she has
d has left her husband
13 Which of the following best states the main idea, or theme, of the story?
a Power corrupts
b Honesty is the best policy
c Greed destroys
d Love conquers all
14 The narrator of the story is a typical omniscient narrator in the way he ____ .
a interacts with the other characters
b reveals the thoughts of only one character
c attributes human feelings to inanimate objects
d reveals the thoughts of many characters
15 The rocking horse in the story most likely symbolizes _____ .
16 How does horse racing symbolize the family’s problem?
a Paul’s parents are in an endless race for material fulfillment
b Paul’s father lost all his money betting on horses
c The family members are very competitive
d The family is depending upon Uncle Oscar to save the day by winning a big bet
17. In the final paragraph of the story, Uncle Oscar expresses the view that Paul may be better off dead
than continuing his wild rides to predict winners as a way to please his mother. How do you think the
mother reacts to her son’s death? Considering her actions and attitudes throughout the story, will
Paul’s death change her in any way? What does she learn from this (if anything)? Answer in a full
paragraph and use evidence from the story to support your ideas.