The Monkey's Paw: the Light Footprint of British History

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The Monkey's Paw: The Light Footprint of British History
by M. Lutfi / 1104391

Written in 1906, "The Monkey's Paw" is a story about Whites' family who received a dried "monkey's paw", dubbed as a magical item which will grant their three wishes, from one of their friend, Sergeant-Major Morris. Taking it as a joke, they wished for two hundred pounds, which they later get in the expense of the death of their son, Herbert. Hopeless, they then wished for their son to come back into life, only to realize that those wish won't become true.

This story is particularly interesting because the author chose to portray the life of an average English family life, and how they deal with issues such as death of a family member, while still talking about the larger issues in the Victorian age, such as Industrial Revolution, the belief to the spiritual or mythical deity, and cultural issues related to the imperialism.

In the start of this story, the reader is presented with the visit of Sergeant-Major Morris to the Whites' family villa, with a "souvenir" which happened to be a "magic" monkey's paw from India. After this scene, readers can infer that there's a cultural exchange from the colonized country (as India is one of the country that was colonized by England). The "magic" monkey paw might be a souvenir or a charm given by locals – at that age, giving a charm to people going overseas was considered to be a symbol of tribute. By accepting the paw, Sergeant-Major Morris successfully brought a piece of Indian culture relic to the UK, and it also could be read as the writer's attempt to say that behind the colonialism, there's some hope of peace and understanding left.

Then the story moves forward to the act in which they doubted the effect of the charm. The act could be read as an attempt to introduce how people tend to question the spiritual belief system. In the age where new ideas, founding in science, and innovations were praised a lot, people started to...
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