Symbolism In The Monkey's Paw

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Katya Iatsenko Gallagher English 10 Sem. (3) 24 September 2014 The Monkey's Paw A dismembered monkey's paw is the controlling force of the White family's future. Jacobs uses symbols to better emphasize the theme of the story, as well as give the reader a clue as to what might happen next. Jacobs portrays, through the use of symbolism, the retaining feature fate may hold. There are many times in the story where the characters seem to be acting against their will. For example, when Sergeant-Major Morris throws the monkeys paw into the fire, Mr. White quickly retrieves it, even though he is completely content and doesn't need anything more in his life. Jacobs writes, "I don't know what to wish for, and that's a fact... It seems to me I've got all I want"(49). Mr. White is a wealthy man who can't ask for anything more. The monkey's paw, a symbol of desire, draws him in and creates situations that cannot be undone, like the death of Herbert. Although Mr. White is the one who retrieves the paw from the fire and was the character with the most desire for it, he doesn't make his own decisions until there is one wish left. Herbert suggests wishing for two hundred pounds. However, when he dies in a factory accident Mr. White receives…show more content…
White learns to make his own decisions. Mr. White doesn't make his own wish until there are knocks on the door from what seems like their son rising from his grave. Just when Mr. White "Frantically breathe[s] his third and last wish" into the monkey's paw before his wife can reach the door to open it, the knocking stops and Jacobs reveals that there is nothing outside (53). The emptiness of the world in contrast to the house symbolizes making decisions without the influence of someone else. Because Mr. White w pressured by his wife to make the second wish, he creates a situation where there always will be a bad consequence. But when someone thinks for themselves, the situation is ultimately a better

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