’s Paw Essay, Research Paper
In The Monkey s Paw, author William Jacobs conveys the message that fate rules peoples lives, and that those who try to interfere with fate do so at their own peril. This premise is clearly shown as the plot of this clever story unfolds. Sergeant Morris reluctantly gave Mr. White the monkey s paw, but warned him of the consequences. The White family playfully wished for two hundred pounds and when nothing happened immediately, they dismissed the sergeant s story as a fairy tale. However, the events of the next day show the cruel irony of the wish. A man from the company that the son, Herbert, worked for, arrived at the White s House with the terrible news that Herbert had been killed in an accident on the job. The man went on to say that the company wanted to give the family two hundred pounds in compensation for their loss. The significance of the amount of the compensation was not lost on the couple and Mrs. White begged her husband to wish for their son to be alive again. Mr. White had great misgivings about this because Herbert was badly mutilated in the accident and he was concerned that the wish would bring Herbert back in that mutilated state. However, he did what his wife requested and wished for Herbert to live. Soon thereafter, a loud knocking sound came from the front door and Mrs. White rushed down to open it. Mr. White realized he must act quickly. He found the monkey s paw and made his final wish. The knocking ceased. Although not stated, we can infer that Mr. White s wish was for his son to remain dead. This last wish will probably have the most detrimental consequences to Mr. White and his relationship with his wife. She cannot accept the fact that her son could not come back normal and healthy and will never forgive her husband for taking him from her. The author has made his point that tampering with fate can set in motion a chain of events that can be neither anticipated nor prevented.