Monkey Paw

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A Misfortune of Fate
Through out history, people attempted to change their fate to fulfill their desires. In the short story “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs, the White family’s simple life is dramatically changed when they do not listen to the advice about a magical monkey’s paw. With the hope of making their lives better by wishing for money, the White family quickly leans that the gains do not weigh the repercussions. In this story, the author foreshadows the White family’s inevitable downfall and uses dramatic irony and foreboding imagery to convey that people should appreciate what they have; attempting to change fate can cause great misfortune. Throughout the story, Jacobs foreshadows the White family’s demise do to their ungrateful attitude and ignorance of fate’s power. When the White family ignores the advice of the sergeant, it seems inevitable that a tragic event will occur. While the sergeant introduces the paw, he warns the Whites that the wish of the previous owners “third was for death” (52) The White family is careless to not take heed of the sergeant’s warning as most reasonable people would. The White family’s carelessness resulted in the death of their son, Herbert White. The next afternoon a stranger from Herbert’s company appeared that the White household. He told Mr. and Mrs. White that their son “was caught in the machinery” (55) Although Herbert was lost to death, Mr. and Mrs. White is rewarded two-hundred pounds for condolences; their wish was granted. The remaining of the White family now realizes their ignorance is being punished by fate’s power. The author also uses dramatic irony when the White family experiences a great tragedy due to their desires of wealth. As Mr. White makes a wish for two-hundred pounds, his son, Herbert, doubts the power of the paw. Mocking the paw after his father makes the rebellious wish; he says “I expect you’ll find the cash tied up in a big bag” (53) with no other thought of something...
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