Literary Analysis Of The Monkey’s Paw By William Jacobs

William Jacobs’s tale, “The Monkey’s Paw,” is a warning story about the unanticipated consequences of our desires. He also explains how what we desire might turn out to be disastrous. The White family receives three wishes from a monkey’s Paw, which grants them three wishes. Each wish is realized in unanticipated ways. Jacobs uses mood, metaphor, and foreshadowing to address critical issues like what can happen when fate is not in our favor and the dangers that come with following our curiosity to an extreme.

Jacobs uses foreshadowing in order to increase suspense and keep the reader on edge. We are introduced at the beginning to Sergeant Minor Morris. He shows us the famous “monkeypaw.” Morris tells Whites that this talisman, which can grant three wishes, comes with a price. He explained that the monkey’s paw was “possessed by an old fakir. A very holy man.” He wanted to demonstrate that fate was the only thing that could change people’s lives. This shows how the monkey’s claw was designed to cause harm to anyone who tried to alter fate. Morris informs the family that the monkey paw was intended to bring death to the last man to have it. The dangers of the monkeypaw are explained to the family by Morris. He also explains how the family would be affected if it was used. Foreshadowing is used to make readers aware of the suspense and the fact that the monkey’s paw will be responsible for the events to come. Despite all warnings, Mr. White uses the talisman. He wishes for his first wish to be two hundred pounds. Little did White know that his son would need to die to obtain it. The house becomes tense and darkened after he has made his first wish. The wind blows outside and Herbert watches in horror as the last fire is lit. The face looked so real it was frightening Herbert. He reached out for a cup of hot water and began to grab the monkeys’ paw. This illustrates Herbert’s potential fate, and prepares readers to die. Herbert is killed at work the next day, and Mr. White gets two hundred pounds in compensation.

Jacobs incorporates literary elements into the story to make it stronger and more impactful. Mr. White’s first wish is fulfilled when he exclaims, “It moved,” with a look of disgust at the object lying on the ground. It twisted in my hands as a snake, and I made my wish. To make it more dangerous, the author compares the monkey’s paw to a snake. This is to warn readers that they don’t know what lies ahead. Snakes are evil, treacherous, and calculating animals. It is impossible to predict what they will do next. However, they can also be powerful and “magical creatures”. They have been associated with both good and evil and are linked to creation, destruction, life, death and creation. Jacobs uses the comparison to demonstrate how powerful Jacobs’ monkey paw. The double meaning of the talisman can be seen by readers. It grants wishes but it will also have a cost.

The monkey’s hand is used to symbolise greed and desire. It is dangerous to desire more than what you actually need. People only see the positives of wishful thinking. They don’t realize that it can lead to hefty consequences. For example, the Whites have had to suffer from wanting more than they have. Mr. White has everything he wants – a comfortable house and happy family. He still uses the monkey’s foot to ask for money that he doesn’t need. He acknowledges that he has all he wants before he asks for the money. This shows that he didn’t want or need anything but his desire to pay off the house was what drove him. He isn’t greedy about his desire to have 200 pounds. It is something that he wants, but it seems reasonable. It is more about satisfying his curiosity than anything. Herbert will be severely disappointed and his curiosity will lead to terrible consequences. It’s a warning sign about the dangers of curiosity being too much. It is also symbolic of the value of interfering in fate. Morris’ warnings to the contrary, Mr. White insists that he will change something in his life. He is not content with what he has. It grants the desire, which is the irony of the paw. But, magic has a way of changing the world so wishes can be granted for a very high price. The Whites used the monkey’s hand to exploit every possibility and satisfy their curiosity. They are punished severely for trying to alter fate. They can’t change destiny. However, if they try and replace it with a paw, fate makes a way for them to get things back on track.

Jacobs creates a mood that is mysterious and unsettling from the very beginning. You never know what the next thing will bring, and you are surprised by what surprises you. He doesn’t tell us everything. For instance, we don’t know whether the paw can summon magical powers or if Herbert died because of it. We don’t know if Herbert White knocked on the door to ask Mr. White if he wants his son alive. Finally, we don’t know the third wish of Mr. White, which leaves readers wondering what it is. The author also uses a constant cold wind to enhance the mood. Wind is a sign of bad luck. We know right from the beginning that something horrible is coming. The author keeps reminding readers that cold winds can create a very scary mood. It makes us believe that bad things are going to happen.

W.W. Jacobs had many stories but “The Monkey’s Paw,” his most famous, was a terrifying tale about the dangers inherent in wishful thinking. He also taught many valuable life lessons. Jacobs created a fascinating and captivating story by using metaphors, symbols and comparisons to predict what would happen next. The choices made today can have an impact on tomorrow.