"The Monkey's Paw " by W.W.Jacobs

Essay by Anonymous UserA+, November 1997

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The mystery of the Monkey's Paw is a cleverly thought out short story. This story had three main parts. These parts were the first wish, the second wish, and the third wish.

The first wish was the only tragic wish that was granted. Mr.White, his son Herbert, and an old man were sitting around playing chess. There was a knock at the door and Mr. White answered it to let the man in. His name was Sergeant-Major Morris. He sat down in the seat nearest the fire, and after several glasses of whiskey he began to talk. He talked about some of his war experiences, and then of India.

His last story was about a magical mummified monkey's paw. The sergeant-major tells the family that the old dried out monkey's paw has a spell put on it by an old fakir. The story continues and then Mr. White and the sergeant-major trade.

Later Mr. White wishes for 200 pounds. A man comes and visits the Whites telling them that their son Herbert had been killed, and then he gibes them 200 pounds. The consequence of Mr. Whites first wish is the main reason he uses a second and third wish.

Mr. White did not want to use a second wish but his wife insisted that they wish their son back to life. Mr. White wishes his son back to life, but nothing happens so they go to sleep. They are sleeping when they hear a knocking sound at their front door. Mrs. White goes downstairs to answer the door even though Mr. White told her not to answer the door. Mrs. White approached the door while Mr. White looked for the monkey's paw.

At the very moment Mr. White unlocked the door Mr. White found the monkey's paw...