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Although author W. W. Jacobs does not choose to use a traditional introduction to his short story, "The Monkey's Paw," the entirety of Part I serves as such. The first paragraph creates a dark mood with the bad weather outside, and the seemingly innocent mood inside with the chess match between father and son as the mother tends to her knitting. They are awaiting a guest who has decided to visit despite the bad weather conditions. Jacobs creates tension during his description of the chess match: They take "unnecessary perils"; the father makes a "fatal mistake"; and he then "bawled... with sudden and unlooked-for violence." When Sergeant-Major Morris finally arrives, he eventually tells the story of the paw, which enthralls the Whites. Despite his warning of the paw's dangers, Mr. White retrieves it from the fire after Morris tosses it in. Morris leaves, and White makes his first wish before he and his wife go to bed, leaving Herbert to gaze at horrible faces he imagines in the fire. The chapter serves to set up the remainder of the story--and the results of the three wishes--that occur over the next few days.
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