The story “The Monkey’s Paw” takes place in a house with a poor family.
One night, Sergeant Major Morris comes over to the protagonist of the story, Mr. White’s, house. The Sergeant Major, an old friend of Mr. White, starts talking and reveals a monkey paw that can grant any 3 wishes, but with consequences. In the story, the author, William W. Jacobs believes that greed/obsession always has consequences for those who only care for themselves, and what they want. When Sergeant Major Morris warns Mr. White about the consequences of using the monkey paw, “’An old fakir put a spell on it. He was a very holy man and he wanted to show that fate ruled people’s lives, and that to interfere with fate only caused deep sadness. He put a spell on it so that three separate men could each have three wishes from it.’” Mr. White doesn’t listen, even though what Morris said implies that something bad will happen when you wish. Instead, Mr. White proceeds to take the monkey paw from him, and wish for 200 pounds the next day. This shows that Mr. White is very greedy and doesn’t care about what the Sergeant Major said, only caring about what he wanted. After Mr. White wishes for 200 pounds, his son goes to work and dies, and the company that the son worked for gave Mr. White 200 pounds to pay for the service the son had provided. This was the consequence for being greedy and ignoring what the sergeant major said. The Sergeant Major had also said, “‘If you must wish, …wish for something reasonable.’” The Sergeant Major probably said this because the more unreasonable the wish, the more pain would come from it. However, after the son had died, Mrs. White had her husband wish for their son to come back alive. Her husband was reluctant to do it because he knew there would be consequences. The wife forced her husband to wish for her son’s return because she no longer cared about anyone or anything, and became obsessed with wanting to see her son again. The consequence she faced was disappointment when the son was not there because the wish was very unreasonable. Even though this consequence may seem small, it is actually quite big, as Mrs. White didn’t have a life other than her son, so expecting to see him and then not seeing him probably was heartbreaking. The moral of this story is: If you are greedy or obsessed and try to get unreasonable things, you will end up worse off than when you started.
Read “The Monkey’s Paw” here
Read more about W.W. Jacobs here