Paul's parents value money most in life. Hester, Pauls mother, exemplifies her feelings when her children are around. She always felt the centre of her heart go hard. "Only she herself knew that at the centre of her heart was a hard little place that could not feel love, no, not for anybody." (pg 236) The children see in her eyes the fault looked upon them , and the love they seek cannot be found. Success for Hester is acquiring more wealth to hide her inadequacies. The family was poor, behind all the fancy furnishings and expenisive clothes. She simply was following the implications of society, that having more money made you a more valuable person in the community.
Oscar and Paul were associated with the betting scheme, yet keeping it unknown to Hester. Paul had the ability of picking the winning horse at a race if he felt absolutely sure. He would get on his rocking horse and rock and rock until he was in the race himself. Paul drove himself to exhaustion by his mother's greed and the never ending whispers of " There most be more money". In the end this is what caused Paul to be obsessed in his winnings. .
The whispering in the house does not stop, because the greed that resides in the household grows greater. When Hester received five thousand pounds, all she wanted was more. Paul could never satisfy her, and this drove him to his insanity of betting on horses. The gift of five thousand pounds wasn't even enough to get their family out of debt. Hester wanted all five thousand pounds right away, instead of splitting it up yearly as Paul suggested. Paul hoped that his mothers happiness would succeed into love for him; however, she just became greedier than ever.
Paul was driven to exhaustion on a quest to "get lucky" and finally find the acceptance, and love he searched for from his mother. His final efforts to conjure the winning horse of the Derby made him ill and frail. After he was told his horse had won, he turned to his mother and said " Mother did I ever tell you? I am luck!" She replied by saying "No, you never did.