Literary Elements In The Monkey's Paw By W. Jacobs

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Have you ever heard the saying, “Be careful what you wish for, you might get it?” W.W. Jacobs, the author of “The Monkey’s Paw,” writes a short story about The White family’s friend, Sergeant Major Morris, throwing the Monkey’s Paw in the fire due to the bad luck that it brought him, but Mr. White picked it up out of the fire and had three wishes that were granted to him. This short story is about the White family’s quest to fix what their first wish brought them. Jacobs utilizes the literary elements of conflict, characterization and plot to reiterate the main theme, which is, one should think carefully before they wish for something. In order to successfully present the theme, Jacobs uses Person vs. Person and Person vs. Fate conflicts. He also writes so that the Monkey’s Paw and darkness are symbols. Finally, he portrays plot in order to emphasize the theme of a person should think carefully about what they wish for. The first literary element Jacobs uses to demonstrate the theme is conflict. There are many conflicts in “The Monkey’s Paw,” for instance, Jacobs shows a Person vs. Person conflict through Mrs. White and Mr. White. Mrs. White wants to use the second wish to bring their son back to life, but Mr.…show more content…
The first of these symbols is the Monkey’s Paw. It illustrates the greed of people. The White family never thinks about the wishes they make. Herbert tells his dad to wish for money and because of being greedy and wanted more money, Herbert dies. Another symbol used in “The Monkey’s Paw” is darkness. When Herbert knocks on the door the house is in complete darkness. Darkness symbolizes death and evil. When Herbert dies, he comes back to life but is evil and knocks on the door. Jacob writes, “The darkness was oppressive,” (Jacobs 6) just before Mr. White goes to answer the door. Jacobs uses both of these symbols to prove the theme about a person should be careful when wishing for

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