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Miss Raetz

Freshman Lit.
Miss Raetz
Consequences from Wishing
Often when given the chance to have any wish come true, people wish for grandeur. It seems
that people can always think of something that they dont have that they feel they need above
everything else. This same mindset was seen within the White family in W. W. Jacobs short story The
Monkeys Paw. When given the opportunity to wish for three things, Mr. White, due to his sons
suggestion, saw his chance to take the easy way out of debt and wished for 200 pounds. Little did he
know, his wish would have some pretty serious consequences the death of his son, Herbert. After
Herbert died, Mr. White, upon his wifes insistence, wished for his son to be alive again. However, the
story ends before Mr. Whites second wish comes true or does it? Jacobs wrote the resolution of The
Monkeys Paw so that the reader needed to infer Mr. Whites final action. In the resolution, Herbert is
wished dead again by Mr. Whites use of his third wish, his knowledge that the monkeys paw leads to
terrible consequences, and his fear of how Herbert will look when raised from the dead.
To begin with, Mr. White uses the monkeys paw for a third time to wish Herbert dead again.
No harm trying, though, I suppose. (He holds up the paw as Herbert taps a drum roll on the table with
his hands) (190). He picks up the monkeys paw from the floor and holds it up in his right hand. His
lips move, but we cant hear him over the thunderous knocking (195).
In addition, Mr. White knows the monkeys paw when used leads to terrible consequences.
He takes the paw, dangles it between his finger and thumb, then suddenly throw it into the fire (189).
The first owner had three wishes, yes. I dont know what the first two were for, but the third was for
death (189).
Lastly, Mr. White has a great fear of how Herbert will look when he is raised from the dead.
*Mr. White+ Dont let it in. *Mrs. White+ How can you be afraid of your own son? Let me go (194).
Hes been dead ten days, and besidesI didnt want to tell you this, but I could only recognize him by
his clothes. He was mangles in the machinery. If he was too terrible for you to see then, how would it
be now? (193)
In conclusion, Mr. White makes his final wish on the monkeys paw to wish his son, Herbert,
dead again. His decision to make this final wish was based off his knowledge that when wished upon
the monkeys paw leads to negative consequences and his fear for the way Herbert to come back after
being dead for over a week.