The Monkey's Paw Essay

718 Words3 Pages
The literary elements in The Monkey’s Paw are subtle but nevertheless they can be found if you know where to look. The author begins by setting the scene on a night that is “cold and wet” (Jacobs 2302), the use of these adjectives sets a dreary tone. Furthermore cold, wet nights are often used in literature during times of conflict for the characters and in the case of The Monkey’s Paw it could be seen that it implies an unpleasant future for the White family. However the characters are unaware of their tragic fate. Thus the way that the white family block out the miserable weather by closing the blinds and having a fire that “burned brightly” can be seen as a metaphor for the family’s naivety in regards to what fate has in store for them.…show more content…
Monkeys are generally represented a mischief makers who like to play tricks on people. This can be seen as a mirroring the events that follow the White families wish, by granting their wishes in an unexpected and tragic way. Thus tricking them into exchanging their son’s life for 200 pounds insurance money when they expected the money to be just given to them. The paw’s appearance also has complex undertones that add meaning to the story. It is describe as being “dried like a mummy” (Jacobs 2304), since mummification is associated with death this foretells of the death that will be bestowed upon the family as a punishment for testing…show more content…
There are 3 members of the White family; Mr White is the third owner of the paw which grants 3 wishes, these are the most obvious groupings of 3. However there are a lot more subtle groupings of 3 incorporated into the story. Sergeant-Major Morris starts talking about his travels in India after 3 glasses of whisky and warns Mr. White 3 times not to use the paw. The employee of Maw and Meggin hesitates at the Whites gate 3 times before he walks up the path to their door. Mrs. White orders her husband three times to wish Herbert alive again before he uses the paw. Lastly, the reanimated corpse of Herbert knocks three times before his mother hears

More about The Monkey's Paw Essay

Open Document