April 24, 2013
Short Story Analysis
The Monkey’s Paw
William Wymark Jacobs is an amazing example of great writer and is known for his use of satirical and macabre form of writing. His best or most acclaimed story being The Monkey’s Paw; a story about family gifted with a “cursed” monkey’s paw by a family friend. The characters, setting, style, conflict, and even the point of view come together to make this an exceptional horror story with any number of themes you can take away from it.
Characters play an integral part in any good story; especially in one such as this. In The Monkey’s Paw there are four characters: Herbert White, Mr. and Ms. White (Herbert’s parents), and Sergeant-Major Morris. Let us start with Sergeant-Major Morris; he is a friend of the White family; always telling them of the stories of his travels around the world. He is a hardy and serious man with a past directly connected to the Monkey’s Paw. The most import aspect of his role is his superstition which leads him to tell the White family about the Monkey’s Paw which results in the ultimate demise of the families piece of mind. He warned them of the Monkey Paw’s powers and tried to rid himself of it by fire but, Mr. White saved it, after which Sgt.Maj. told him how to access the paw’s powers. Now Mr. White was a simple old man with dreams of adventure or at least travel from his boring home. His is content with his life and his family as is or so it would have seemed until his encounter with the Monkey’s Paw. His fascination in the Monkey’s Paw ultimately leads his family and him into trouble and, over the course of this tale his state of mind, happiness and, contentment slowly deteriorates due to the Monkey Paw’s “magical” properties. Mrs. White is the average loving mother and committed wife who is happy and joyful in the family’s current state. She also shares in the curiosity brought about by the Monkey’s Paw and the stories of Sgt.Maj. Morris’s...