Herbert is the young adult son of Mr. White and Mrs. White. He is a happy, loving son to his parents, indicative of the domestic bliss shown at the beginning of the story. Though he teases his father for believing in the magic of the monkey’s paw, Herbert himself has a moment of fear when, after his parents have gone to bed, he sees the image of a horrific monkey’s face in the fireplace and picks up the monkey’s paw. Herbert represents how even the sceptic can be briefly made to believe in the ability to magically alter fate. Herbert works in a factory, where he dies midway through the story in a machinery accident. His death exhibits a common occurrence in the period of industrialization in Britain, as many young people left their family homes to work in factories and many died due to dangerous working conditions created by careless and exploitative factory owners. However, Herbert’s death is also possibly a consequence of his father’s wish upon the monkey’s paw. Both Mr. and Mrs. White believe that Herbert returns at the end of the story, as they use the second wish on the paw to bring him back to life. While Mrs. White believes her beloved son has come back to her, Mr. White fears the consequences of the monkey’s paw, which will only bring back a mangled and decaying version of their son. Notably, the narrative does not explicitly state that Herbert is or isn’t returned before Mr. White wishes him away again, leaving the reality of Herbert’s return, and therefore the magic of the paw, dubious. The reader can interpret the fate of Herbert’s character through two perspectives, one that views Herbert’s death as a part of one’s punishment for trying to alter fate, or as a casualty of the real issue of industrialization that was going to happen regardless of Mr. White’s actions.