literary analysis of the monkey paw

Better Essays
“The Monkey’s Paw” was a short story written by William Wymark Jacobs. Jacobs uses two themes in the short story to draw in his readers. The two themes are to be careful what you wish for and you can't get something for nothing. These two themes could provide the reader with a deeper understanding of the writing of “The Monkey’s Paw”. They are three people in the Whites family, Mr. White, Mrs. White, and their son Herbert White. They are a happy family who like in a relatively safe environment as there home is very separate from the outside world. The greed of the family turns this safe environment to a hostile one.
Sargent-Major Morris is a long lost friend of Mr. White and he appears at their house after coming home. Morris had gone to India and came back with a monkey’s paw. After a couple of drinks, Sergeant-major Morris begins entertaining the family about his adventures in India. Mr. White interrupts him about a story he was telling him about a monkey's paw. He went to visit the Whites with the paw in his pocket, but didn’t want them to see. The paw is supposed to answer all the wishes that someone made. Morris begins to tell the family about the monkey's paw's origins and how it came into his possession. After debating about whether the monkey paw has the ability to grant wishes, Morris throws the monkey's paw into the fire. Mr. White quickly retrieves it from the fire and tells his friend since he has made his three wishes and doesn't want it anymore; it would better serve him instead. Morris tries to reason with Mr. White and tells him to throw the monkey's paw back into the fire, but Mr. White doesn't listen. In the end, Morris tells him not to blame him for the consequences that will follow if he wishes on the monkey's ...

... middle of paper ...

... a price. Again, with the second wish, despite their good intentions, wishing Herbert back from the dead would bring back the Herbert they knew before he died. It would be something "evil" that would return to them and Mr. White knew it and he quickly acted on what he knew by wishing Herbert dead again.

In life we run into situation that seem too good to be true. Sometimes we overlook those things to obtain things of wanting and not need. We think of what receive and not what we give up in order to get. This shows that when one is not careful in decision-making, they could give up more than they get in return. In the case of the White, they lost their only son for 200 pounds in order to pay off their house early. After being talk the bad that could come of thing, the Whites continued without thinking or realizing that there is always something for nothing.
Get Access