White’s friend Sergeant Major Morris. The family is unaware that with the Sergeants arrival their lives will be forever altered. When Sergeant Major Morris arrives the family welcomes him into their home. Mr. White begins to inquire about a monkeys paw that the Sargent had previously told him about. The Sergeant does not want to talk about the paw, but in answer to Mrs. White’s pleas, he tells the story of an Indian Holy man who cast a spell upon the Monkeys Paw that grants three wishes to its owner as it has done for him. Suddenly, he throws it in the fire.
Confused Mr. White pulls the paw out of the fire and tells Morris he will keep it. Morris pleads with him to put t back into the fire, but Mr. White is intent on keeping the paw. Before saying his goodbyes the worried Sergeant warns them that if they do wish on the paw to think carefully and do so wisely. The family decides to wish for two hundred pounds to pay off their home. When nothing happens by breakfast the next morning, they are all convinced that Mr. Morris was just passing away a winter’s evening with an entertaining tall tale.
Feeling foolish about such wishful thinking and laughing about the idea of cursed paw Herbert leaves for work. His parents will soon learn that their wish has been granted but the price is more than they wanted to pay. That very afternoon, a man from the company where Herbert works comes to the house to inform Mr. and Mrs. White that Herbert has gotten caught up in the machinery at work and is killed. The man also goes on to say that while the company admits no liability, but they will be giving the family 200 pounds.
The Whites are grief stricken even more so Herbert’s mother Mrs. White. One cold and sleepless night, a heart broken Mrs. White remembers the monkey’s paw. They that they still have two more wishes. She wakes her husband and tells him to get the paw and wish her son alive again. Mr. White tries to explain to her, hat it would be wrong and even scary to wish him back since Herbert’s body had been so badly mangled in the accident that he himself could only identify his sons body by his clothing; not to mention the fact that he had been in the ground for 10 days now.
His wife explains to her husband that she could never be afraid of the boy she nursed as a baby. She was not to be reasoned with, she wanted her baby back and the paw could make that happen. A hesitant Mr. White gets the paw and wishes for his son to be alive again. A few minutes later, they heard a knock at the door. Mrs. White realizing that her boy was home uns to geta chair to unlock the top lock on the door to let her son in. Mr.
White, however, is frightened and searches franticly for the paw to make his final wish so that when the door opens Herbert Will be gone. Sure enough, when the door opens and he goes down stairs all that he finds is a devastated wife starring out into the lonesome, dark night. W. W. Jacobs’s short story “The Monkey’s PaW’ is a chilling macabre short story that indeed teaches the reader the devastating and far reaching consequences of trying to change ones destiny, and also that a mothers love for her child is completely selfless and unrelenting.