To a mother, nothing can break her heart terribly than losing her children forever. Mrs. White, the mother in the story “The Monkey’s Paw” has experienced this sorrow even more badly because her curiosity and greediness are the factors contributing to the death of her son. By using short sentences, the technique foreshadowing, the author not only makes his readers palpitate with fear but also leads them to Mrs. White’s state of mind to understand and sympathize with her in such pain.
This horrified story happens when a monkey's paw which has magical power is given to a family, granting them three wishes. The father in this family wishes for two hundred pounds. The next day, an employee of the son's company comes to the family's home and tells the parents that their son has died in an accident and they will receive some money two hundred pounds - the exact amount they wished for - as compensation. A week has gone by but the mother still doesn’t accept the truth. She forces her husband to wish that their dead son would return home alive. Hearing someone knocking at the door, the mother tries her best to open it. However, the father has used the last wish before. The knocking stops, and when the door is opened, before the mother’s eyes, no one is there.
The beginning of the story sees two contradictory images “Without, the night was cold and wet, but in the small parlor of Laburnum villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly”. The mother – Mrs. White – appears in the house “knitting placidly by the fire”, watching her husband – Mr. White – and her son – Herbert – at chess”. It is a typical setting of a happy family, peaceful and comfortable. The White lives in a small parlor, “of all the beastly, slushy, out of the way places to live in, this is the worst.” Just by few details, W.W. Jacobs evokes to the readers the condition of Mrs. White’s family – a not much well-to-do one. However, that cannot prevent them from enjoying themselves. After having dinner, now putting all the tiredness of a long day aside, Mrs. White is enjoying peaceful moments besides her dear husband and son in her small home. Not only is she doing her favorite work in her spare time – knitting – but watching the chess between father and son, consoling her husband and encouraging him. She is the person that keeps the atmosphere of harmony in the family and develops the spirit of them. To a woman, being able to put her family in such a happy order like this is a big success. Though Mrs. White is not wealthy, she is obviously in a happy period. However, this does not prolong any longer since the appearance of the monkey’s paw.
When the monkey’s paw appears, everything has changed. Before seeing the paw, Mrs. While is an ordinary woman. Now, knowing the value of the paw, together with the other members in the family, she becomes curious. She questions the visitor much about the reality of the paw and the former people that had given their wishes. Actually, nobody knows exactly the paw’s power is truth or not. She doesn’t believe much in that power at first. She makes a kidding, asking her husbands to wish four pairs of hands for her without purpose and without imagination of its consequence. According to her, it’s nonsense to believe that wishes are granted in these days. She is afraid of being blamed ridiculous when putting her belief in that. That’s why she tries to devaluate the reality of Morris’s story. However, the way she evokes that story in the next morning, the way she scurries to the door at the postman’s knock go against her. Anyway, it’s a wish, a chance for anyone owning it to be in better condition. That truth cannot be denied. With that thought, her family wished for two hundred pounds. In her deep mind, she still hopes the miracle of the talisman holds true.
When seeing a stranger outside her house, by the sixth sense of a mother, she knows that it has a connection with the two hundred pounds. She may have a feeling...
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