The Monkey's Paw Foreshadowing Essay

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W.W. Jacobs sets the scene for an ordinary family that is in for a roller coaster of emotions when they get the chance to wish upon a magic paw. “The Monkey’s Paw” is an intriguing story of a family that learns what its means to be careful what you wish for. Through a fictional story, Jacobs uses a variety of elements to teach one to be thankful with what you have. Before the family decides to make any decisions about their wishes, foreshadowing is used to give a sense of what might happen if they follow through with their wishes. In addition to using foreshadowing, there is multitudes of conflict within and between the characters that give us a sense of what each one of them is feeling.

All throughout the beginning of the story foreshadowing …show more content…

One of the first examples is when Mr. White is conflicted about whether or not he wants to wish upon the paw. In the story it says, “ Mr. White took the paw from his pocket and eyed it dubiously. ‘I don’t know what to wish for, and that’s a fact,’ he said, slowly, ‘It seems to me I got all I want’” (Jacobs 36). This leads one to believe that Mr. White is humbled by his quaint life and is hesitant about about wishing to have something changed. Another example of Mr. White having an internal conflict is when his wife begs him to wish their now dead son alive again. As his wife is practically going mad with excitement of her idea, it is stated, “The man turned and regarded her, and his voice shook. ‘He has been dead ten days, and besides he--I would not tell you else, but--I could only recognize him by his clothing. If he was too terrible for you to see then, how now?’” (Jacobs 40). Mr. White realizes that his son is dead and that he should not wish for him to live again because it will not be what his wife is expecting. Yet, his wife’s pleading makes him rethink his decision. After Mr. White finally decides to wish for his son back, it is only a matter of time before they hear a knock on the door that may change their lives forever. Mrs. White immediately runs down stairs and tries to get the door open; on the contrary, Mr. White is fearful of what is on the other side of the door and does not want to …show more content…

This is represented many times throughout the story including after the messenger breaks the horrific news about Herbert, the Whites’ son. The Whites are devastated, this is shown by stating, “Unconscious of his wife’s shriek, the old man smiled faintly, put out his hands like a sightless man, and dropped, a senseless heap, to the floor” (Jacobs 39). If Mr. White had not wished for 200 pounds, then Herbert would not have died, and they would have been a whole happy family. Because the Whites were not content with what they had, they wished for money at the cost of their son. All in all, one should be thankful for what they

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