[2015] Hussain Chharawalla: The Monkey's Paw vs. Icarus and Daedalus

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Discipline:
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Subject:
Reading Comprehension
Grade:
9

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[2015] Hussain Chharawalla: The Monkey's Paw vs. Icarus and Daedalus

"The Monkey Paw" by W.W JacobsVS"Icarus and Daedalus" by Josephine Peabody

Let us travel back 100 years ago to a place called Laburnam Villa in England. It is a dark, stormy night and the Whites, Mr. and Mrs. White and their son, Herbert, are enjoying a nice evening in their warm, fuzzy cottage waiting for their guest. Soon, Sergeant-Major Morris arrives. After serving in India for 21 years, he tells the Whites about his exciting adventures and accidently reveals something about a cursed monkey paw. He claims it was created by an old fakir,”a very holy man. He wanted to show that fate ruled people's lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow. He put a spell on it so that three separate men could each have three wishes from it." Mr. White is intrigued, and as Mr. Morris throws it into a fire, he snatches it up and buys it from him. Mr. Morris warns him that it is cursed and people get hurt when it is used, but it just flies over Mr. White’s head. After Morris leaves, Mr. White wishes for 200 pounds, the amount of money he needed to pay off his mortgage. The next morning, everyone goes to work as usual, and the money still hadn’t shown up yet. Suddenly, in the afternoon, a nervous, well dressed man comes to the Whites to tell them that their son, Herbert died in a machinery accident and his company, Maw and Meggins, wanted to give them a sum of money to help them with their loss. Guess how much? That’s right, 200 pounds. Mrs. White screams and Mr. White faints. For the next 10 days, the Whites mourn. 10 nights after Herbert’s death, Mrs. White gets a brilliant idea. Why not use the remaining two wishes to bring Herbert back from the dead? Mr. White is reluctant to the plan, but eventually gives in and wishes for his son back. A couple of hours later, someone (or something) knocks on the door. Mrs. White convinced it is Herbert, runs to the door to answer. However, Mr. White already seeing the horrific condition of his son’s boy after the machinery accident, doesn’t want his son to get in the house. Mr. White hurriedly murmurs his final wish to the monkey (We don’t know what he wishes for), and suddenly all is quiet. The story ends with Mr. White comforting an anguished Mrs. White outside their front door.

By Hussain ChharawallaMs. Scoffield 6th Period

"The Mousepaw" by W.W Jacobs

Icarus and Daedalus by Josephine Preston Peabody

In the tale of Icarus and Daedalus, we start off by meeting Daedalus, one of the most cunning mortals who ever walked on this world. Daedalus once created a labyrinth, full of cunning tricks and turns for King Minos of Crete. Legend has it, that the only way to escape the cursed labyrinth was with a magic clue. Daedalus, however, was betrayed by Minos, who had him imprisoned in a tower. Daedalus escaped the cell after some time, but could not escape the island, for all ships that entered or left the island were well guarded under the order of the king. Daedalus spent his days watching the birds of the sky, and formulated an escape for he and his son, Icarus (who was imprisoned with him), off the island. Over time, he slowly collected feathers and carefully waxed and threaded them into wings for himself and Icarus. Daedalus had learned to command the skies with the power of flight. As he prepared for his flawless escape, he warns his son, "Remember," said the father, "never to fly very low or very high, for the fogs about the earth would weigh you down, but the blaze of the sun will surely melt your feathers apart if you go too near." For Icarus, these words were meaningless, for who could control him when he was to fly in the sky. Icarus would soon regret this dearly. The day of escape had arrived. “Up they rose, the boy after his father. The hateful ground of Crete sank beneath them; and the country folk, who caught a glimpse of them when they were high above the tree-tops, took it for a vision of the gods,--Apollo, perhaps, with Cupid after him.” The father and son soared through the sky. As they hovered through the air, Icarus felt nothing but pure joy. “He longed for one draught of flight to quench the thirst of his captivity: he stretched out his arms to the sky and made towards the highest heavens.” Alas, the air grew warmer and Icarus’s wings began to crumble, one feather after another. The poor boy plunged to his death, with his father long gone. When Daedalus returned, he discovered the mound of feathers on the ocean, and discovered the empty truth. Icarus had drowned in his ignorance. Daedalus, in heavy remorse, named the nearest island Icaria and gave his wings up as an offering. The story ends with the quote,”Never again did he attempt to fly.”

Point of View

Point of View

“The Monkey’s Paw” is written in third person point of view. We know this because the narrator uses the pronouns “he,she,you, and I” often. For example," “It moved,” he cried, with a glance of disgust at the object as it lay on the floor. “As I wished it twisted in my hands like a snake.” " The author uses this point of view for 2 reasons. First, it creates the spooky environment that is needed for the story in ordered to be conveyed properly. For example,”WITHOUT, the night was cold and wet, but in the small parlour of Laburnam Villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly. Father and son were at chess, the former, who possessed ideas about the game involving radical changes, putting his king into such sharp and unnecessary perils that it even provoked comment from the white-haired old lady knitting placidly by the fire.” Secondly, when the story is told from a narrative point of view, it allows us to make a picture of the scene in our heads easily and does not reflect on any of the characters’ personal feelings or emotions. For example, imagine hearing the story from Mrs. White’s point of view, who has grown desperate and crazy to get her son back. The story would not be the same.

“Icarus and Daedalus” is told from a 3rd person omniscient point of view. We know this because the narrator of this story has extensive knowledge of all characters and their thoughts. For example, the narrator writes,”For Icarus, these cautions went in at one ear and out by the other. Who could remember to be careful when he was to fly for the first time? Are birds careful? Not they! And not an idea remained in the boy's head but the one joy of escape,” which suggests that the narrator knows what Icarus is thinking. This makes the story more exciting, because it foreshadows future events. By knowing what the characters are thinking, you can predict what will happen in the future, which is why the author probably chose to use third person omniscient point of view.

In this story, a happy family loses everything over a simple wish. Although they were warned of the consequences, they proceeded anyways and lost what they loved most as a result.The story itself tells the theme when Sergeant Morris says,”He wanted to show that fate ruled people's lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow,” when talking about the fakir who enchanted the monkey paw.

The theme of this story relates to why Icarus died in the first place. Icarus’s ignorance of his father’s wise warnings, is what caused him to die. If Icarus had listened to his father’s advice, he would have lived happily ever after. Sometimes, we should listen to our love ones’ advice, even if it goes against our personal opinion, because their wise advice could be the difference between life and death.

Theme

Theme

Icarus- A young boy (Daedalus’s son) who tended to be ignorant towards his father’s advice."Remember," said the father, "never to fly very low or very high, for the fogs about the earth would weigh you down, but the blaze of the sun will surely melt your feathers apart if you go too near."“For Icarus, these cautions went in at one ear and out by the other. Who could remember to be careful when he was to fly for the first time? Are birds careful? Not they! And not an idea remained in the boy's head but the one joy of escape.”Icarus’s ignorance is what leads to his untimely death.Daedalus- One of the wisest, most cunning mortals to ever be born…Despite all his ingenuity, nothing was more important to him than his son.“The nearest island he named Icaria, in memory of the child; but he, in heavy grief, went to the temple of Apollo in Sicily, and there hung up his wings as an offering. Never again did he attempt to fly.”

Sergeant Morris- a war veteran that has been through a lot of suffering who wishes to destroy paw immediately because of its danger. For example, in the story it is said that,”He took the paw, and dangling it between his front finger and thumb, suddenly threw it upon the fire.”Mr. White- an enthusiastic old man, who is always ready to take risks ( Father and son were at chess, the former, who possessed ideas about the game involving radical changes, putting his king into such sharp and unnecessary perils that it even provoked comment from the white-haired old lady knitting placidly by the fire.”) Mr. White is not also someone who takes warnings seriously, “ I won't," said his friend (Morris) doggedly. "I threw it on the fire. If you keep it, don't blame me for what happens. Pitch it on the fire again, like a sensible man." The other (White) shook his head and examined his new possession closely. "How do you do it?" he inquired. "Hold it up in your right hand and wish aloud,' said the sergeant-major, "but I warn you of the consequences." Mrs. White- A simple, old lady who cares for her family’s safety over anything else, and is willing to take drastic measures to make sure of it, “Even his wife's face seemed changed as he entered the room. It was white and expectant, and to his fears seemed to have an unnatural look upon it. He was afraid of her. Herbert- a lively, creative, young man who is the centerpiece of the White family,"If you only cleared the house, you'd be quite happy, wouldn't you?" said Herbert, with his hand on his shoulder. "Well, wish for two hundred pounds, then; that'll just do it." His father, smiling shamefacedly at his own credulity, held up the talisman, as his son, with a solemn face somewhat marred by a wink at his mother, sat down at the piano and struck a few impressive chords.”

The overall atmosphere of “The Monkey’s Paw” starts off dark and mysterious when the Whites are excited to explore the powers of the monkey’s paw. However, the story then twists and turn gloomy when Herbert suddenly dies. Towards the end, the story builds up excitement quickly, and in the final moment of climax, things end abruptly and suspensefully when we find out Herbert is gone forever. “A cold wind rushed up the staircase, and a long loud wail of disappointment and misery from his wife gave him courage to run down to her side, and then to the gate beyond. The street lamp flickering opposite shone on a quiet and deserted road.”

In “Icarus and Daedalus,” the mood of the story remains neutral for the first half of the story. As the time of their escape draws near, however, the atmosphere becomes exciting and suspenseful, because you become anxious to hear of their fate. After Icarus’s death, the story takes a turn and becomes mournful. The story ends with the reader having a heavy heart, but an important life lesson is learned. “The nearest island he named Icaria, in memory of the child; but he, in heavy grief, went to the temple of Apollo in Sicily, and there hung up his wings as an offering.”

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