The Monkey Paw is another short story for teenagers that highlights an event when a white family makes wishes by holding the monkey paw in their right hand in an upward position. This story is full of horror and twists till the end.
William Wymark Jacobs (1863-1943 was a famous horror literary writer who worked as a clerk in civil service in the United Kingdom.
If you’ll read his stories, you’ll be amazed at his character settings and the suspenseful twists.
Characters in The Monkey Paw
The Monkey Paw story consists of three members of a white family and an outsider Major Morris.
He was the old man living with his wife and only son Herbert.
She was the wife of old Mr white.
He was the son of the old couple. He worked in a company and liked to play chess.
He was the man who had visited the white family handed them the monkey paw and told them its mysteries or secrets.
The Monkey Paw Summary
The short story starts when a windy storm is happening outside of a cozy house in a deserted place near the road. The house was owned by a white family having three members. Mr white was playing chess with his only son Herbert while Mrs.White was knitting near the flame or fire.
At that time, Mr white loses the chess from Herbert and starts making arguments about the weather and the strange location of the house like it’s far from the population and in a deserted location.
Major Morris Entry
As father and son were discussing, a family friend Major Morris came up and they started their talks. He told the white family about his adventures while Mr white told him that he wanted to visit India and want to see its beauty(the temples). Major Morris introduced them to the monkey paw he had in his pocket. He told them a fakir or miracle worker had done magic on the paw and now people’s lives run according to this paw. Simply, he wanted to say that it determines fate. He told the white family that one person must wish three times from the paw by placing it in his right hand in an upward position.
Evils Of Paw
Major told the white family that he wanted to sell it but couldn’t get success because people wanted to see outcomes first. He told them who wished for it, he’d be responsible as it cost one month of death when he wished for death. Major had thrown paw in fire but Mr.White reduced it and kept it. After this event, Mr white left their house.
White Family Wishes
After Major left, they started talking about the paw and made some jokes. Herbert said that they’ll have to pay 200 pounds for their house as rent. Mr white held the paw and made the first wish that generate some sort of 200 pounds. After the wish, the elders go to sleep while Herbert takes the paw and goes to his bed.
End of the first wish
The next morning Herbert left the house for work. The white family had made jokes about the paw. Later that day, a stranger knocks on the door and he tells them that their son isn’t alive. He further told them the company (Maw and Meggins)would pay 200 pounds for some arrangements. Herbet was caught up in the machine. This made the poor souls sad as they lost their only son.
Mr White’s Second and Third Wishes
Later Mrs white insists Mr white hold his paw and wish for his son’s arrival. Mr white refused that he couldn’t come back as he was no more but her pleading made him do so. He again wished for 2nd time and they heard a knock at the door. Mr White was astonished at how their son would come as they buried him two miles away from their house. He begs his wife to not open the door but she runs downstairs for the door. She rushed and went for the chair to open the door. At that time, Mr white held the paw for the final time and wished that whoever was knocking at the door would return.
As he made the wish, the knocking on the door went into silence like the cold breeze in the desert sand. Mrs white opened the door and found out the street was empty.
Themes of The Monkey Paw
After reading this short story, you’ll get these themes:
The outcomes of Greed
The white family had wishes that were based on greed like they’d pay the dues of the house. Their wishes paid them but with some unexplainable costs.
Fate can’t be changed
You can’t fight with your fate. The monkey paw symbolizes that fate ain’t be altered and those who tried this met with tragedies in the story.
A little bit of the theme of horror is also found in The Monkey Paw. The way the author explained the storm outside of the house and the knocking on the door made me scared.
The story also sends a message to readers that superstitions or blind beliefs lead to mishaps. The white family had set false belief that the paw gonna change their life.
Major Morris just suggested the family about the paw. His suggestion made them curious and they met the outcome.
The Monkey Paw Review
I loved it when I was reading this short story. It was short and had not consumed much time. The way W.W.Jacobs presented the story and set characters before us is unprecedented. The way the author explained the nature, the entry of new characters, their talks, and the knocking on the door was mind-blowing.
- As a reader, you should try to read this short story to your kid or teenage children. Surely, they’ll gonna love it.
Moral Lessons From The Monkey Paw
Every reading material sends some message to its readers and here are some moral lessons from the monkey paw:
- Don’t follow the beliefs based on superstitions
- Ignore the curse of greed
- Take decisions on the base of facts and figures(you can read a book on making decisions click)
- You can’t handle the fate
- Our life is unpredictable
for questions and answers to Monkey Paw click
Conclusion: The Monkey Paw Summary
This article discussed The Monkey Paw Summary, a short story by W.W. Jacob. In a nutshell, this story emphasizes the topics of greed, horror, fate complexity, and life unpredictability.
- You can share our blog on social media for other’s help. For more books and short stories, visit.