[2015] Rachel Varghese: The Monkey's Paw

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[2015] Rachel Varghese: The Monkey's Paw

Rachel Varghese

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This story is about a family who had the unfortunate oppurtionity, in this case, to make wishes. The main conflict is internal and external, because the problems they have involve the Monkey's Paw which is the external conflict. The internal problem is the wishes they make that they feel they need. 'He sat alone in the darkness, gazing at the dying fire, and seeing faces in it. The last face was so horrible and so simian that he gazed at it in amazement. It got so vivid that, with a little uneasy laugh, he felt on the table for a glass containing a little water to throw over it. His hand grasped the monkey's paw, and with a little shiver he wiped his hand on his coat and went up to bed.' This quote from the story shows how terrifying the Monkey's Paw can really be. In the exposition of the story, Mr. White and his son were playing chess and getting ready for their visitor, Sergent Major-Morris. When the visitor comes, he talks about his travels to India, and then introduces them to the Monkey's Paw. The family think that it's just a story, however the sergent tells them a warning about the object. '"Hold it up in your right hand and wish aloud,' said the sergeant-major, "but I warn you of the consequences."' This was what the sergent said to the oblivious family. After the family started making wishes, they realized that the sergent was right, and that they should have just burned it. Their first wish was to gain 2000 pounds to pay off their mortage. This wish was answered but in exchange for their son. This put the old couple is despair and grief. Over time, the wife realized that they could bring back their son with another wish. The man was unconvinced saying, '"He has been dead ten days, and besides he--I would not tell you else, but--I could only recognize him by his clothing. If he was too terrible for you to see then, how now?"' At the end, the man used the last wish to reverse their second wish of bringing back their son, afraid of what will show up at their door.

There are three main characters in the story The Monkey's Paw. W.W. Jacobs set of his main characters is a family. The father, or which is the story is reffered as "Mr. White" or "old man" personality changes throughout the story. At the beginning when he hears about the Monkey's Paw from the sergent, Mr. White becomes greedy. He wants the paw to himself for his self-desires. Towards the end he becomes more guilty about his choices, and gains more wisdom through tough events. '"He heard the creaking of the bolt as it came slowly back, and at the same moment he found the monkey's paw, and frantically breathed his third and last wish."' This is an example of how he understands the risks in changing fate.Mrs. White is, of course, Mr. White's husband and the mother. This couple was a happy couple, but soon mourned with grief, for their choices affected their lives too much. She was a intelligent woman in the beginning of the story, because she catches onto topics better than Mr. White. '"She caught her breath, and turning to her slower-witted husband, laid her trembling old hand upon his. There was a long silence."' However, at the end she turned insane at the death of her son, and mourned for him until she made a choice.Herbert White is the son of Mr. White and Mrs. White. He was a happy and loved his parents dearly. His trasformation, however, is a very heartbreaking one. After his death, and was 'resurructed", he is considered as a monster to Mr. White. Herbert's transformation however was horrifying, and made the story darker than it already it was. Mr. White says '"He has been dead ten days, and besides he--I would not tell you else, but--I could only recognize him by his clothing. If he was too terrible for you to see then, how now?"' to Mrs. White. This hints that the revived corpse of Herbert might be an evil-being and not what they imagined.

Characters

The Monkey's Paw

Plot

The Monkey's Paw and The Lady or The Tiger? are both similar and different. Both stories did not end well for the characters, and both had to make tough decisions in the end. In the Monkey's Paw, the couple did not gain anything they wanted from making wishes. Instead, their lives were put into misery over their death of their son. '"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."' This quote from the story shows the devastation that the couple has gone through. In The Lady or the Tiger?, the princess has to go through a tough decision at the end. Either choice she makes will cause her lover to slip away from her. In this decision, she need to decide if her lover should stay alive, but go to another woman, or dead. '"Would it not be better for him to die at once, and go to wait for her in the blessed regions of semi-barbaric futurity? And yet, that awful tiger, those shrieks, that blood!"' This quote from the story shows how diffucult the decision is. Both stories have differences as well. In the Monkey's Paw the conflict is the consequences for changing fate, while in The Lady or the Tiger? the princess has to overcome jeaulosy and make a choice. '"If you must wish," he said gruffly, "wish for something sensible." ' This quote from The Monkey's Paw shows that to be cautious for what you wish for, because things that you want might not look as great as they appear. '" Her decision had been indicated in an instant, but it had been made after days and nights of anguished deliberation."' This quote from The Lady or the Tiger? shows that the princess's jeoulousy and her despair makes it very hard to make a decision.

Compare and Contrast

The mood of this story is the feeling of the unknown and the mysterious. The feeling you get when they make a wish after the ominous warnings, make the story and intense. You never what will happen in this story. The forshadowing of events makes the story very mysterious. '"He sat alone in the darkness, gazing at the dying fire, and seeing faces in it. The last face was so horrible and so simian that he gazed at it in amazement. It got so vivid that, with a little uneasy laugh, he felt on the table for a glass containing a little water to throw over it. His hand grasped the monkey's paw, and with a little shiver he wiped his hand on his coat and went up to bed."' This quote gives us an eerie feeling of what will happen next. This is what makes this story horrific.

The theme of this story is to be careful what you wish for, and that you must not change fate. You should be happy with what you have. In the story, Sergent-Major Morris warned the family about the Monkey's Paw. '"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."' This quote gives off the vibe and the entreaty to not interere with our fates. By giving wishes, a lesson can be made on this fact. So be careful with what you wish for, for it might just catch up behind you!

Theme

This story is in a third-person omnicient point of view. We know this because the narrator can look at some of the thoughts in the characters' heads.. The author wrote this story in this point of view to enhance the mysterious vibe and the feeling of not knowing what's going to happen next. For example, "He sat alone in the darkness, gazing at the dying fire, and seeing faces in it. The last face was so horrible and so simian that he gazed at it in amazement. It got so vivid that, with a little uneasy laugh, he felt on the table for a glass containing a little water to throw over it." This shows that the narrator knows what the characters are thinking and give us the ability to infer what will happen next.

Point of View

Mood


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