Monkey Paw

Topics: Wish, Literary technique, Irony Pages: 2 (718 words) Published: January 13, 2013
David Phillips
Mrs. Spencer
AE English 10A, Period 2
17 September 2012
Twisted Fate
Throughout history people have attempted to change fate to fulfill their future. In the story “The Monkeys Paw”, by W.W. Jacobs, the Whites family simple life is dramatically changed when they do not listen to wise advice about the magical monkeys paw. With the hope of making their lives better by wishing for money, the White family quickly learns that the gains do not weigh out the repercussions. The Whites prove the theme of: ignoring important advice and neglecting fate, by the demonstration of spot on foreshadowing and the use of dramatic irony and shocking suspense.

Throughout the story, Jacobs foreshadows the whites demise due to their ungrateful attitude and ignorance of fate. When the white family ignores advice from the sergeant, it seems that a tragic event will occur. While the sergeant introduces the paw, he warns that the last wish upon the paw was death (51). The white family was very careless to not take heed of the sergeant’s wise words as most reasonable people would. The white family proves their disrespect for fate by neglecting the wise words of the sergeant. Also when Mr. White moves his chess piece into unnecessary perils, making a fatal decision, it signifies that later in the story he will again make a fatal decision (50). Mr. White’s lack of common sense puts his family at a tragic risk. Mr. White ignores the power of fate by not understanding its true power and risking his entire families lives. As the white family progresses through their stage of ignorance by continuing to be greedy, their disrespectful attitude towards fate becomes increasingly worse.

When Mr. White makes the wish upon the paw for two hundred pounds, he ends up getting the money as compensation for his son’s death (52). Mr. White once again shows his ignorance towards fate by neglecting wise advice and taking a huge risk. It is ironic that the money Mr. White...
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