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What does Herbert say that foreshadows his own death in "The Monkey's Paw"?  

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hasan123456 | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted March 9, 2011 at 8:55 PM via web

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What does Herbert say that foreshadows his own death in "The Monkey's Paw"?

 

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

Posted March 9, 2011 at 11:06 PM (Answer #1)

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There are several examples that foreshadow the death of Herbert in W. W. Jacobs' classic short story "The Monkey's Paw," but few that are spoken by Herbert himself. Perhaps the best example comes at the end of Chapter I just after the Whites acquire the paw from Sergeant-Major Morris and make their first wish--for 200 pounds. Herbert is skeptical about the paw's abilities.

"Well, I don't see the money," said his son as he picked it up and placed it on the table, "and I bet I never shall."

Herbert later wonders how money could hurt someone and jokes that it may fall onto his father's head from the sky. He later suggests that such a windfall may make his father a " 'mean, avaricious man.' "

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troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted March 9, 2011 at 11:23 PM (Answer #2)

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Probably the strongest answer to this question happens right after Mr. White makes his first wish. The line refers to Herbert and says this:

"Well, I don't see the money," said his son, as he picked it up and placed it on the table, "and I bet I never shall."

He doesn't ever see the money because his death, in fact, is the reason the Whites come into the money he wished for.  The irony is that he was the one who talked his father into making the wish.  Both parents don't seem to take it seriously at first.  But it is Herbert who suggests wishing for the 200 lbs. Because of his death, the parents do get the 200 lb settlement.  So not only is there foreshadowing here; there is also irony.

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aartihelpdesk | High School Teacher | Salutatorian

Posted March 13, 2011 at 7:39 PM (Answer #3)

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The Monkey's Paw is an extremely bold parable, showing how fate can rule's over people's lives, and those who try to mess with it, do so, to their sorrow.

"Well, I don't see the money," said his son as he picked it up and placed it on the table, "and I bet I never shall."

This is line definitely bites Herbert very hard. The avarice for 200 pounds hits the Whites badly. This line explicitly illustrates how Jacobs has played with irony. Remember that it was Herbert's idea to get 200 pounds. He played with destiny and fate. Indeed, he never saw the money, for it came at the cost of his life, as he was enveloped with the darkness of Death.

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