A short story by W. W. Jacobs


When a mysterious object enters a families life one day. Their whole world changes! What seems to be an ordinary Monkey's Paw can actually grant wishes! But is it for the best? Mr. White, not paying any attention to what Seargent Morris has to say takes the paw into his hands and wishes his first wish out of three. Mr. White begings to see what seems to be faces in the fire but is it just in his head or was Seargent Morris telling the truth? Mr. White never thought they something that seemed so good could tear his family apart so bad.


I feel bad for Mr. and Mrs. White about losing their son ,Herbert but then again I think that Mr. White should have listened to Sergeant Morris about all of the bad things the Monkey Paw could do. "I don't know what the first two were, but the third was for death. That's how I got the paw.", "It has caused enough mischief already." I think Mr. White was just to excited over the fact that the paw could grant wishes and that he could wish for money. I don't think he thought that it was too good to be true which it was... I think that if something good comes into your life that you really need, you should pay attention and make sure you actually know what it does.

What is the conflict?

When a soldier brings a mysterious mummified monkey paw into the life of Mr. and Mrs. White they take advantage of him and the Monkey Paw and before he knows it Mr. White accidentally wishes his sons existence away! The paw did not give Mr White 200 pounds like he wished for. Finally after about a week of their son being gone, Mrs. White thinks she has an idea. She tells her husband that since they have two wishes left, that he has to wish for their son to be alive again. Mr. White is so scared for what could come of that wish but he wishes anyway, "I wish my son alive again." They return to bed and soon after Mr. White hears a knock on the door. Mrs. White becomes excited in thought that her son had returned home, but Mr. White knew what was outside was not good so he used his final wish on the Monkey Paw as soon as Mrs. White opens the door and whatever it was that was outside had vanished!

Qualities of Mr. White

Mr. Whites biggest quality is how smart he is. After he realizes that the Monkey Paw is not good to use, he knows he should not make any more wishes even if that does mean he won't be able to get his son back. Whenever Mrs. White tells him to make his second wish to get their son, Herbert back he knows that would not be smart idea but he does it anyway just to try and make his wife happy, but once he hears the knock on the door he uses the last wish to get rid of whatever was outside.

What is the theme? How did the characters qualities influence the theme?

I believe that the theme of this story is to be careful what you wish for, because it might seem great at first but in the end it could turn out hurting you or someone else. Mr. White did not realize that the Monkey Paw could be bad and that he could put his family at risk until he actually wished upon it. Mr. White's intelligence is the quality that helps influence the theme because at first he did not pay attention to what the Monkey Paw could do but once he figured it all out he realized that it was not a smart idea to make any more wishes because something bad might happen again to him or his wife.