Fate vs. Freewill
Mr. White, the protagonist of “The Monkey’s Paw,” struggles to accept his fate in life. However, when an acquaintance gives him a magical dried monkey’s paw, which supposedly has the power to grant three wishes, Mr. White believes that he can finally exert his will on the world in a quick and consequence-free manner. When he tries to do this by wishing for money, though, his wish goes awry: the money comes as…read analysis of Fate vs. Freewill
The Uncertainty of Reality
The seemingly-supernatural events of “The Monkey’s Paw” cause both the characters and the reader to question the nature of reality. While those who wish on the monkey’s paw seem to have their wishes supernaturally granted, and then seem to be supernaturally punished for their hubris, nobody knows for sure whether the wish fulfillments and their consequences are supernatural or simple coincidence. After all, Morris’s stories about the paw’s powers could just be fanciful tales…read analysis of The Uncertainty of Reality
During Jacobs’ lifetime, Britain underwent rapid industrialization. Jacobs shows the harms caused by industrialization in Herbert’s death through a machinery accident and the company representative’s cold response to the Whites. With this tragedy, Jacobs grounds the horrors of “The Monkey’s Paw” in the real life social issues surrounding industrialization, such as dangerous working conditions and worker exploitation.
Herbert goes to work in a factory every day, like many young people in Britain during…read analysis of Industrialization