How does W.W. Jacobs reveal character in "The Monkey's Paw"?

1 Answer | Add Yours

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Jacobs mostly reveals character traits indirectly in “The Monkey’s Paw.”  For example, he does not say that Mr. White is satisfied with his life.  Instead, Mr. White cannot find anything to wish for. 

“It seems to me I've got all I want."

Another example of indirect characterization is Herbert’s reaction.  The narrator does not say that Herbert is ambitious, but Herbert has ideas of things to wish for.

"Likely," said Herbert, with pretended horror. "Why, we're going to be rich, and famous, and happy. Wish to be an emperor, father, to begin with; then you can't be henpecked."

This reaction also shows that Herbert is playful and does not take the paw seriously.

Finally, the narrator does not directly say that Mr. White is practical, but in the end he uses the last wish to wish his son is dead, to undo whatever horror his wife caused by wishing him alive.


We’ve answered 317,598 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question