The social background of "The Rocking Horse Winner" was that period of western industrial civilization. At that time, materialism was extremely prevalent and money was a symbol of status. Paul's family was a middle-class who lacked money. Although they had no money, his parents still maintained a high quality of life, which meant that they used materials to maintain the social hierarchy. With the prevalence of money worship and opportunism, the traditional morality of society had been severely challenged. Bassett, the gardener of Paul's family, shows great respect, loyalty, and trust to Paul. After Paul predicted that he had successfully won the horse race, he was more religious as a pious follower. He just only obeyed the little master and assisted him with blind loyalty. The distinct relationship between him and Paul was obedience and lead. Paul's uncle Oscar whose the desire for money was more intense than the protection of his own nephew. It seemed to him that no matter how adult or child to obtain material benefits was justified and reasonable. More seriously, excessive materialism split the love between people, mainly in the relationship between Paul and his mother, Hester. Although Hester did not love her children, she had to show the image of a good wife and mother in front of the children and the people because of her belief in the principle of perfect, limited by her own conscience and social ethics. Hester thought that she had no luck leading to a lack of money and failure of marriage, which made her feel anxious. In order to satisfy his mother's desire for money, Paul vigorously searched for the clue of "lucky" in a child's way, resulting in a wrong outlook on life, value, and ethics. He was willing to sacrifice himself as a child's happiness or even his life to realize adult’s desire. Additionally, different cultures rouse different expectations for men and women. Paul had the Oedipus complex because of his lack of love since childhood, in order to win his mother’s love, he tried to make money through betting horse racing and be a man whom his father did not make to make up for his mother's loss. He unconsciously competed with his father for his mother because he wanted to shift his mother's attention to himself. All in all, this short story strongly reflects the alienation of people's hearts by money and criticizes money worship and the degenerated humanity which is in order to calls for the loss of love between people.
用社会学批评知识对“木马赢家”进行分析，可以分析其社会行为准则和礼仪，宗教信仰和禁忌，等级，成人与儿童的关系以及性别关系。 首先，“木马赢家”所在的社会背景是西方工业文明时期，物质消费主义极度盛行，而金钱是地位的象征。保罗家是一个缺乏金钱的中产阶级，尽管没钱，但他的父母还是保持着上流社会的生活品味，也就是说用物质来维持着社会等级。因此保罗总是听到房子里响起“There must must more money”的话，这是保罗一家焦躁的根源，是物质主义的恶果，也是折磨保罗精神的罪魁祸首.. 第二，且拜金主义和投机主义盛行，社会传统道德受到严重挑战。保罗家的花匠对保罗很尊重，忠诚，信任，在保罗预测成功赢了赛马比赛后，更加表现出宗教般的虔诚的信徒一样对于保罗要通过赛马来赢钱，他并没有劝阻，而是顺从小主人，协助他。但这是愚忠，他不知道，对于一个小孩子的身心发展是不利的由此。可以看出他和保罗就是明确的仆人和主人的关系，服从与施令的关系。而保罗的叔叔，对金钱的欲望比保护自己亲外甥更为强烈，似乎在他看来，不管成人或是小孩通过何种方式获得物质利益都是正当且合乎情理的。 第三，过度物质主义使人与人之间爱的分裂。主要表现在保罗和母亲的关系上，母亲认为自己没有幸运导致缺乏金钱和婚姻失败，因而令她感到焦虑。但因为信奉求善原则，所以她受到自己良心的监控和社会道德规范的约束，尽管不爱自己的孩子，但又不得不在孩子们以及众人面前表现出贤妻良母的样子。而保罗为了满足母亲对金钱的渴望，开心起来，以孩子的方式朦胧地寻找“幸运”的线索，致使他形成了错误的人生观，价值观，道德观。他甘愿牺牲自己作为儿童的快乐甚至生命来实现成人的欲望。 第四，不同的文化催生出对男人和女人的不同期望。保罗具有“恋母情结”，因为从小缺爱，为了博得利欲熏心，享乐至上，冷酷无情的母亲的爱，他希望通过赌马赢钱，做一个父亲没做到的男子汉，来弥补妈妈的失落，他在潜意识里不自觉的在跟父亲竞争母亲，因为他想把母亲的注意力转移到自己身上。这很大程度上表现出社会中金钱对人们心灵的异化。 总而言之，这篇短篇小说强烈抨击拜金主义，呼吁唤起人与人之间失落的爱。