Did the events in "The Monkey's Paw" prove fakir's point that "fate ruled people's lives and those who interfered with it did so their sorrow"?
8 Answers | Add Yours
In this tale by W.W. Jacobs, a family of modest means makes a wish (and that, too, a modest one) upon a talisman which leads to the death of their only son. For the sum of money asked for to finish off mortgage payments on their house corresponds to the penny to the compensation offered them when their son is killed in an accident at his workplace.
One message or theme of the story is indeed that man should not interfere in a supernatural way with his own destiny but should accept it in good faith "as is." The Whites could not be accused of being greedy, but their curiosity and fascination in occult forces got the best of them.
There is a very interesting article about how this relates to the confrontation of cultures, East and West, via colonialism. It is well worth a read and will give you further insight into this aspect of the story. You can view it by clicking on the first of the enotes references cited below:
Did the events in the story prove the old fakir's point? From a literary standpoint, we have to accept that they did and that his warning should have been taken seriously. How else could the story be interpreted? If we dismiss the fakir's assertion, then we would have to believe that the story's events were simply unusual coincidences and that the Whites either imagined the knocking at the door or someone knocked and then ran away for some unknown reason. The fakir's warning actually becomes the theme of the story.
In the short story "The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs, there is no doubt that the fakir's point was proved. The didactic nature of this story is obvious, and as the previous poster mentioned, everything fit together to precisely to be coincidence.
The idea of fate is a strong one in "The Monkey's Paw," and it's clear that the curse of the paw is the agent of fate in this story. Too many things happen too coincidentally to demonstrate anything but an orchestration of fate. The fakir was right: interfering with fate (in this case, in the form of wishing on a monkey's paw) comes at a high cost.
Definitely. You have to appreciate the perverted wisdom of the fakir. It is clear that in the White family their attempt to divert fate and change what has happened results in a terrible tragedy, both in the first wish and in the second. It is only Mr. White who learns the lesson and thus uses the third wish to cancel their attemp to meddle in their fate.
The strongest force of fate is that of the Whites being made of the flawed fiber of human nature. As human beings who curiosity succumb to the seven deadly sins, the White's innate greed overcame any reason. This pull of greed is, of course, evinced in Herbert, who has not yet learned any of its consequences as, perhaps, the hesitant Mr. White has.
I disagree with everyone, The Fakir made no point as his experiment was flawed. He may have proven that human lives were ruled by fate, but there was no interference. By the Fakir's own logic the whites were fated to receive the paw, fated to make their wishes, and fated to suffer from them. There is no interference and thus you cannot say that interfering with fate lead to sorrow.
Indeed the fakir's words were true.First of all,the first wisher could not bear the tragedies that approached him.We know since his third wish was for death.This was because maybe he asked for gold,respect or a high position and he had to bear the consequences.Secondly,Sgt. Major Morris also had his three wishes fulfilled but a feeling of hatred arose in heart for the paw.He also had his wishes fulfilled but he had to bear the consequences.So,he wanted to burn the paw in Mr.White's house.And at last Mr.White had to bear the consequences for wishing.A tragedy approached after wishing for first time,and maybe a bigger tragedy would have approached if the second wish was not undone.The first tragedy was Herbert's death.So,it proves that whoever interferes with fate would be sorry and everyone should be happy with what they have.
Join to answer this question
Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.Join eNotes