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The Monkey's Paw

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Enriquez Castellanoz

on 29 October 2013

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Transcript of The Monkey's Paw

The Monkey's Paw
by W. W. Jacobs

Literary Analysis
Literary Elements
Theme is a very important part of this short story,
because of the message it leaves the reader with in
the end. The message of the story was to not give
into greed and desires. Mr. White was happy with
what he had, he had a good life. Quote: ... "I don't
know what to wish for, and that's a fact," he said
slowly. "'It seems to me I've got all I want." Even
though Mr. White was content with his life he used the monkey's paw, which would grant any three wishes. He wished for 200 pounds, but he didn't know how the wish would be granted. At first he didn't believe it would come true, but the next day a man came with horrible news. His son Herbert had been caught in a machine at work and killed. As a compensation the family received 200 pounds. As you can see Mr. White's wish had been granted, but at a terrible cost. His greed had brought him only misfortune. He should have just been grateful for what he had, and he would have still had his son in his life.
This literary element is a key component in this short
story, because it gives clues and hints about the outcome
and future events in the story. There are various examples throughout the story of foreshadowing and that is why it
makes the story much more interesting and intriguing
Example 1
The soldier who gave the family the monkey's paw keeps telling Mr. White to burn it or throw it away, because it would be a mistake to keep it. When the family asks the soldier what he wished for his face became
pale and he didn't want to discuss it, so this would most likely mean that whatever the soldier wished for didn't turn out the way he wanted it to, and he doesn't want to remember. The soldier tells Mr. White that if he wishes he should wish for something sensible, which could also imply that the soldiers decisions were not.
Irony plays a big role in the story by enhancing the overall writing and creating twists in the plot which the reader might not have expected therefor keeping the reader guessing and on the edge.
Example 1
The monkey's paw could grant any three wishes. Mr. White had the ability to wish for whatever he could imagine. At first he doesn't believe it, because it sounds absurd. Mr. White ends up wishing for 200 pounds and it doesn't just fall out of the sky. Mr. and Mrs. White receive a 200 pound settlement for their son's death the very next day. They wished for money and there wish was granted.
Example 2
When Mrs. White asks Mr. White "How could two
hundred pounds hurt you, father?" She doesn't think about any consequences that could come from the
wish, and at first she doesn't believe it will be granted.
Then Herbert is killed and the White family is devastated by there loss, so this is yet another example of irony.
Example 3
Mrs. White doesn't believe at first that the paw
has the ability to grant wishes and even says
"How could wishes be granted in these days?"
When Mr. White wishes for the 200 pounds and
indirectly causes Herbert's death, Mrs. White believes she can bring back Herbert. She screams and orders Mr. White to wish Herbert back to life. He believes that it would be foolish and wicked to wish Herbert back to life. Mrs. White at first didn't believe in the paw's magic, but in the end she puts all her hope into the paw, so she can have her only son back.
Quality Piece of Writing?
Overall, this is a quality piece of writing due to how
the different literary element are applied and
coexist with each other throughout the story. Theme, irony, and Foreshadowing work very well with each other to create a great experience for the reader. Theme leaves the reader with a moral lesson to reflect upon when they finish the story. In this case it is about being humble, not giving into the temptations of greed, and being careful of what you wish for. These are all important messages that are our conveyed to the reader through the literary element of theme. Irony and foreshadowing keep the reader inside the story in different ways. Irony gives unexpected twists in the story that keep the reader interested by creating an unpredictable plot or story line. Foreshadowing creates suspense in the story by giving clues about future events, but the clues don't completely give the story away, so the reader has to keep guessing about what the outcome will be. In conclusion, the way in which the literary elements are used really enhance the writing of this piece and convy the author's message effectively.
The third wish of the man who possessed the paw before the soldier was for death. This is yet another warning of dire consequences that could come from using the talisman.
Example 2
Example 3
The soldier also informs the family that a fakir put a spell on the paw to show that fate and fate alone controlled peoples lives and that if people tried messing with their fate there would be consequences.
To begin with, this is a story that teaches a very important moral about life. The author uses various literary elements so the reader can easily understand exactly what the author is trying to say and so the story doesn't just drag along. The author entertains his audience while teaching them a lesson that should not be forgotten. The family in this story is an example of what happens when the author's message is violated. He does an excellent job as you will see.
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