Monkey's Paw Theme

Good Essays
The “Monkey’s Paw” is a short story of a close knitted family’s relationship being torn apart by a magical monkey’s paw that can grant any wish. The effects of the wishes are drastic and symbolic. W.W. Jacobs uses the monkey’s paw in “The Monkey’s Paw” as an important symbol for fate and how it is meant to be left alone, and to separate human desire from reality. The main theme of the “Monkey's Paw” is fate, and how if fate is tampered with, it will reciprocate, essentially in the form of “an eye for an eye”. In the “Monkey’s Paw,” a magical monkey’s paw will grant three wishes of any kind to three different people. Yet, when the wish is granted, something disastrous takes place soon after. Sgt. Major Morris hints to the grim nature…show more content…
The beginning of the “Monkey's Paw” displays a very serene and unperturbed environment, portraying a happy, close-knitted family enjoying each other's company. The chemistry and closeness of the family are acknowledged in the beginning of the story by these quotes: “Father and son were at chess” and “white-haired old lady knitting placidly by the fire.” (Jacobs 15) They're enjoying each other's company, and are bonding together. This is a quiet, peaceful environment. There is no present conflict at the moment. This all changes the moment the first wish is made. Mr. White’s wish caused the death of his son. The immediate effect of the wish on Mr. and Mrs. White, “sometimes they hardly exchanged a word, for now, they had nothing to talk about, and their days were long to weariness.” (Jacobs 21) What had once been a close-knitted, happy family, has been reduced to a grieving, solemn, and depressing relationship between a husband and wife who lost a son and barely talk to each other anymore. A wish that was supposed to make Mr. and Mrs. White happy, made them spiral into a state of confusion and depression. The Monkey’s Paw is shown to be a symbol of the nature of fate, and how fate is not to be forcefully changed. The monkey's paw also bridges the gap between human greed and reality. Fate is an exchange. Fate requires giving something to receive something, not the other way around. An abuse
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