The Rocking-Horse Winner

Directions: Read the passage below and choose the best answer to each question that follows.

And so the house came to be haunted by the unspoken phrase; There must be more money! There must be more money! The children could hear it all the time, though s nobody said it aloud. They heard.it at Christmas, when the expensive and splendid toys filled the nursery. Behind the shining modern rocking horse, behind the smart doll’s house, a voice would start whispering; “There must be more money! There must be more money!” And the children would stop playing, to listen for a moment. They would look into each other’s eyes, to see if they had all heard. And each one saw in the eyes of the other two that they too 1s had heard. “There must be more money! There must be more money!”

It came whispering from the springs of the still-swaying rocking-horse, and even the horse, bending his wooden, champing head, heard it. The big doll, sitting so pink and smirking in her new pram, could hear it quite plainly, and seemed to be smirking all the more self consciously because of it. The foolish puppy, too, that took the place of the teddy-bear, he was looking so extraordinarily foolish for no other reason but that he heard the secret whisper all over the house; “There must be more money!”

Yet nobody ever said it aloud. The whisper was everywhere, and therefore no one spoke it. Just as no one ever says; “We are breathing!” in spite of the fact that breath is coming and going all the time.

-Excerpted from “The Rocking-Horse Winner” by D. H. Lawrence, 1926

  1. Which of the following statements about the children is true?
  • They wish they had more toys.
  • They fear running short of money.
  • Their house is haunted by ghosts.
  • They don’t take care of their possessions.
  • Their whispering annoys their parents.
  1. Where does the action described in the excerpt take place?
  • in a school
  • on a playground
  • at a toy store
  • in a daycare center
  • in a nursery
  1. Which word best describes the atmosphere of the house?
  • peaceful
  • cheerful
  • tense
  • joyous
  • angry