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The Monkey's Paw Summary and Presentation
Transcript of The Monkey's Paw Summary and Presentation
By: W.W Jacobs
The short story,
The Monkey's Paw
by W.W Jacobs, is about fate and wishes. It takes place in the home of the White family in England during the industrial age. Mr. and Mrs. White and their son, Herbert, were at home on a cold and wet night enjoying some chess, knitting, and a cozy fire. Sergeant-Major Morris, a friend of Mr. White's, who has been in the war in India for 21 years, had also come over. The Sergeant began to tell them about a mystical monkey's paw. The paw was given to him by an old fakir who wanted to show that fate ruled people's lives. The fakir put a spell on it that grants people only three wishes. Morris did not want the cursed paw anymore so he threw it in the fire but Mr. White grabbed it. Mr. and Mrs. White make a wish for money and their wish is sadly fulfilled by their son's machinery death. Beside herself with grief, Mrs. White wishes for Herbert to come back to life. One night there was a knock on the door and, expecting the worst, Mr. White makes the final wish for his son to be dead and buried again. Mrs. White excitedly opened the door but nothing was there. This suspenseful horror story shows that fate rules people's lives.
W.W Jacobs Biography
William Wymark Jacobs was an English author of short stories and novels. His first short story was published in 1885. He was born on September 8, 1863 in Wapping, United Kingdom and died on September 1, 1943 in Islington, United Kingdom. He was 79 years old when he died. He attended Birkbeck, University of London. Also, he is most famous for his horror story The Monkey's Paw.
Fakir: a Muslim or, a Hindu
ex; "I should like to see those old temples and fakirs and jugglers'"
Foreshadowing: " He sat alone in the darkness, gazing at the dying fire, and seeing faces in it"(9)....
Mr. White is the Protagonist in the story.
Mr. White was the one who received the monkey's paw from Major Morris, and decided to not let the paw burn.
He is a caring person at the beginning.
He enjoys to play chess.
He is smart.
He becomes selfish later on after not listening to Morris about the cursed paw and wishes for money, even though he already has all he needs.
Setting (time/place/mood), genre, point of view:
"I was to say that Maw and Meggins disclaim all responsibility, continued the other. They admit no liability at all, but in consideration of your son's services, they wish to present you with a certain sum as compensation."
It was said from an employee from the company Maw and Meggins where Herbert White worked.
It was spoken to Mr. and Mrs. White, Herbert's Parents.
The meaning of this quote is that since Herbert died the company is giving Mr. and Mrs. White compensation of 200 pounds.
This could be seen as a possible climax.
Talisman: An object that is thought to have magic powers and can bring good luck.
ex; Her husband drew the talisman from his pocket, and all three burst into laughter as the Seargent-Major, with a look of alarm on his face, caught him by the arm.
Frivolous: Not having any serious purpose or value.
ex; "Might drop on his head from the sky" said the frivolous Herbert.
After Mr White has wished for 200 pounds he started to see faces in the fire. This demonstrates foreshadowing because you can tell that Mr. White is beginning to have anxiety, and that something bad might happen.
"He heard the creaking of the bolt as it came slowly back, and at the same moment he found the monkey's paw, and frantically breathed his third and last wish."
This quote demonstrates suspense because the reader is anxious to know if Mr. White will make the wish in time, to prevent his wife from seeing their zombie-like, mangled, and decaying son.
Henpecked: (of a woman) continually criticize and give orders to (her husband or other male partner).
ex. wish to be an emperor, father, to begin with; then you can't be henpecked.
Betokened: A warning or indication of a future event.
ex. and the dirty, shriveled little paw was pitched on the side-board with a carelessness which betokened no great belief in its virtues.
Inside the White's house
Laburnam Villa in England.
Suspenseful, scary, dark.
Point of View:
Third Person Omniscient: it allows the narrator to share the thoughts and feelings of all character's.
Be careful what you wish for...
This short story implies that asking for more than what you need, and putting your selfish needs first, can end up having the complete opposite of what was expected.
Person vs Person (Mr White vs Major Morris)
Sergeant-Major Morris knew that the monkey's paw was cursed and tried to warn Mr White but the thought of wishing for anything blocked his judgement.
Person vs Fate
Mr White uses the Monkey's paw to wish for something out of greed and as a result the outcome was the death of his son Herbert which he couldn't control.
The Monkey's Paw: Symbolizes greed and fate: "Well, wish for two hundred pounds then; that'll just do it".. The Whites are so overwhelmed with the thought of wishing for anything they desired they ignored the warnings that were given to them. The monkey's paw also symbolizes fate, and demonstrates that people like to blame things on supernatural, then considering it fate. The man who put the spell on the monkey's paw wanted to "show that fate ruled peoples lives and that those who interfered with it did so with sorrow". In the end, this turned out to be true and, by wishing on the monkey's paw, they ended by losing instead of gaining.
"The first man had his three wishes, yes" was the reply. "I don't know what the first two were, but the third was for death. That's how I got the paw".
This quote is very powerful and shows the Whites that there is no good when using the monkey's paw to make a wish, since the man who first used the monkey's paw had died.
Simile: "It moved, he cried, with a glance of disgust at the object as it lay on the floor.
As I wished, it twisted in my hands like a snake."
This quote demonstrates a simile because it is making a comparison using the word "like", Mr. White is saying how the monkey's paw twisted in his hand like a snake after he made his wish for money.
Idiom: " Don't you think you might wish for four pairs of hands for me."
This quote demonstrates an idiom because the expression is not literal -- no one can have four pairs of hands.
Settings: Whites house in England (Laburnam Villa)
Characters: Mr. White, Mrs. White, Herbert White, & Sergeant Major Morris
Conflict: Person vs Fate
Mr White wishes for 200 pounds,
Herbert leaves for work and ends up dying
Mr White's wish came true through
When Mrs.White remembers about the paw in the middle of the night, and begs Mr.White to wish for Herbert to be alive again
Title:The Monkey's Paw
Author: W.W. Jacobs
When Mr White wishes for Herbert to leave, before his wife had a chance to see what her son had looked like after death.
The knocking has stopped, and Herbert is gone.
The Narrator keeps the descriptions to a minimum, and gives us enough information to allow us to figure it out.