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In "The Monkey's Paw," how do you know that the Whites' decision to make a wish proves...

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stephaniesalazar | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted February 22, 2011 at 8:53 AM via web

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In "The Monkey's Paw," how do you know that the Whites' decision to make a wish proves that fate rules people's lives"?

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

Posted February 22, 2011 at 10:10 PM (Answer #1)

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This is a very interesting question to consider. Remember what the White Family are told about the origin of the monkey's paw that comes to have such a devastating impact on their lives. The fakir created the monkey's paw to "show that fate ruled people's lives" and that when people tried to change or impact their fate they did so at "their sorrow." The truth of the fakir's words is clearly established in the way that Mr. White's wish causes only sorrow and grief through the death of his son. Notice how this trend continues when they wish for the return of their son. Part of the effectiveness of this story is the way in which we never get to see the appearance of the living-dead figure of their resurrected son, in spite of the mother's desperate attempts to open the door. However, we can see that Mr. White realises the truth of the fakir's words in the way that he uses the last wish of the monkey's paw to return his son to the grave--where he belongs. Certainly the first wish above all proves that if we try to change our fate or destiny, we do so at our peril, as the great sadness of the Whites shows.

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