Motivation In 'Charles And The Monkey's Paw'

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Motivation. The Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines this word as, “a force or influence that causes someone to do something.” Specifically, motivation is the general willingness that drives a person to behave in a certain way or carry out a task in a certain manner. Without motivation behind the characters, the story would not captivate the reader. Character motivation and its impact on the reader are prominent in pieces of literature such as “Charles,” by Shirley Jackson, “The Landlady,” by Roald Dahl, and “The Monkey’s Paw,” by W. W. Jacobs. When reading a piece of literature, readers commonly wonder what the motivation behind the character’s actions were.
In “Charles,” by Shirley Jackson, a kindergarten boy by the name of Laurie, meets a boy by the name of Charles at school. Laurie arrives home from school, and everyday has new tales for his parents of Charles’ mischief. “...Charles bounced a seesaw on to the head of a little girl and made her bleed...kept pounding his feet on the floor...deprived of blackboard privileges because he threw chalk.” After hearing of Charles’ stunts, Laurie’s mother addresses the teacher. The story ends when the
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W. Jacobs, the White family is introduced to a magical monkey paw. The Paw grants three wishes per user, but is designed to grant the wish by the most tragic means. The Whites are informed of this, but even so, Mr. White uses the Paw to obtain 200 pounds to pay off his mortgage. “...[Mrs. White] asked breathlessly, ‘has anything happened to Herbert?’...‘He was caught in the machinery,’ said the visitor…‘in consideration...[the company] wishes to present you with a certain sum…’ [Mr. White's] dry lips shaped the words, ‘How much?’ ‘Two hundred pounds,’ was the answer.” What motivated Mr. White to wish for money, the story does not say, but the reader wonders why Mr. White wished on a cursed object when he was already familiar with the fact that the outcome could be of the last things he
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