What is the mood, setting and foreshadowing of "The Monkey's Paw"?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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SETTING.  The setting of W. W. Jacobs' "The Monkey's Paw" is in Laburnam Villa, an out-of-the-way area (probably near London, where Jacobs grew up and where most of Jacobs' stories are set). Most of the action takes place at night.

MOOD.  The mood is dark and ominous--perfect for a horror story. In the opening chapter, it is a dark, windy and rainy night, and the Whites hear all sorts of sounds both outside and inside the house. The fireplace serves to warm and illuminate the house, but it also becomes a power of possible destructiveness (when the paw is tossed into it) and mystery (when Herbert sees faces in the flames).

FORESHADOWING.  The first examples are shown during the chess match, when Mr. White makes a "fatal mistake" while putting his pieces into "sharp and unnecessary perils." Throughout Sergeant-Major Morris' visit, he warns the Whites of the power of the paw--particularly that the previous owner's third wish had been for death-- but they fall on deaf ears. Herbert's twisted appearance upon his return from death is hinted at by the description of him being "caught in the machinery."


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