Foreshadowing And Symbolism In The Monkey's Paw

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When one asks for more than what they need, they become avaricious. Their avarice then becomes its own being and unfortunate events are soon to follow behind it. In “The Monkey’s Paw”, the author uses foreshadowing, irony, and symbolism to show that greed is destructive. First, foreshadowing is utilized to contribute strongly to the theme regarding rapacity. For example, Mr. White’s chess strategies hunt at how he’ll handle future events, “The farmer possessed ideas about the game involving radical changes, putting his kind into such sharp and unnecessary perils” (Jacobs 173). Mr. White acts so carelessly and impulsively during a mere game. However, these traits are also applied to when he decides to take a chance on the magical monkey’s paw.…show more content…
Next, the game of chess is symbolic, “Hark at the wind,” said Mr. White, who, having seen a fatal mistake after it was too late, was amiably desirous of preventing his son from seeing it” (Jacobs 173). Chess symbolizes life. In life there are many unexpected twists and it’s difficult to navigate without a fool-proof strategy. Mr. White made the wrong decisions in chess and also the wrong decisions for his family. Another example, arguably the most important, is the monkey’s paw, “His hand grasped the monkey’s paw and with a little shiver he wiped his hand on his coat and went up to bed” (Jacobs 177). The monkey’s paw symbolizes greed. In the story Mr. White physically holds onto his greed and bad things happen to him. By the end of the story, he let’s go of this greed and the monkey’s paw, allowing fate to flow naturally rather than meddling with it. In the end we can see how the author, W. W. Jacobs, used various literary devices to demonstrate theme throughout the story. In “The Monkey’s Paw”, foreshadowing, irony, and symbolism were utilized to show how one’s avarice can lead to their demise. Everyone has a horrid habit of becoming greedy at times, but one cannot let it take control. Once greed has a hold on someone, it won’t let go until there’s nothing
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