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What is a brief plot summary of The Monkey's Paw?

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sxylester | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 7, 2007 at 4:52 AM via web

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What is a brief plot summary of The Monkey's Paw?

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merehughes | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted October 30, 2007 at 4:07 AM (Answer #2)

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The Monkey's Paw is a suspenseful short story dealing with the White family who are awaiting a guest.  The guest arrives on a dark and rainy night. The guest has recently returned from colonial India and has in his possession a monkey's paw which is said to be able to grant three wishes to its owner.  However, the guest no longer wants the paw and throws it away. 

Mr. White grabs it out of the fire and decides to try it.  He wishes for 100 Pounds which he indeed receives but in the most unusual way.  The next day a man comes to the door to present the White's the sum of 200 Pounds.  Their son has died at work (caught in a machine) and the 200 pounds is a payment from the company. 

Both Mr and Mrs. White are distraught and in their pain, they wish for the return of their son.  The story leaves the reader hanging as we hear the knock on the door and Mr. White frantically trying to prevent whatever it was at the door from coming in.  The reader can imagine that it is the dead son, returned.  But in what state?  Right as Mrs White opens the door - Mr White makes the third wish.  The reader is left to imagine what he wished for but more can conclude that it was that his son disappear as no one is there when the door is opened.

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 13, 2008 at 8:48 AM (Answer #4)

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The Monkey's Paw is a story about a mystical charm, a monkey's paw that is brought into the home of the White family by Sergeant Major Morris, who has served in India.  The monkey's paw has the ability to grant 3 wishes to 3 people.  S.M. Morris was the 2nd owner, the 1st owner's 3rd wish was for death. 

S.M. Morris expresses grief over the monkey's paw and tries to destroy it, Mr. White saves it and takes it off his hands for a small fee.  His first wish is for 200 pounds, when nothing happens immediately, he and his family, wife and son Herbert, think that the monkey's paw is a hoax.

The Whites' get the money from Herbert's factory after he is accidentally pulled into a machine and mangled to death.  The 2nd wish is thought of by Mrs. White, to bring her son back from the grave.  He has been dead for 10 days, again after the wish, nothing happens immediately.  The Whites' then begin to hear the sound of someone or something arriving at their door and a loud knocking begins.  Mrs. White wants to rush to the door. Mr. White is not so sure.

As Mrs. White rushes to the door to open it, it is bolted at the top, she can't reach the lock, as she is dragging a chair to the door, Mr. White is furiously looking for the monkey's paw to make his 3rd wish.

Mr. White makes his 3rd wish, to return whatever is at the door, Herbert or some form, thereof, back to the grave, just as Mrs. White opens the door, to find nothing but the dark empty night.  

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reneeo13 | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 13, 2008 at 1:12 PM (Answer #5)

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Be careful what you wish for is both the morale and the plot of "The Monkey's Paw". The parents want everything wonderful for their son and make wishes on a charm which they hope will result in a better life for the whole family. Unfortunately their wish for financial gain results in the son's death. The mother then insists that they wish for his return. He returns as a monster.

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lilmissz | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted April 18, 2009 at 10:36 PM (Answer #6)

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The story centers on a monkey's paw which has magical powers. It gives to its owner three wishes. The monkey's paw is given to a family of three, father, mother, and son. They wish for some money, and the next day an employee of the company where the son is working arrives at the family's residence and tells the parents that their son has died in an accident and they will receive a monetary compensation, the exact amount they wished for. About a week later, the mother wishes that their son would return home alive. When knocking is heard at the door, the father realizes what has happened and before the mother can open the door, the father uses the last wish. The knocking stops and when the door is opened, no one is there.

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asasaa1234 | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted October 16, 2011 at 2:55 AM (Answer #9)

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The Monkey's Paw is a story about a mystical charm, a monkey's paw that is brought into the home of the White family by Sergeant Major Morris, who has served in India.  The monkey's paw has the ability to grant 3 wishes to 3 people.  S.M. Morris was the 2nd owner, the 1st owner's 3rd wish was for deaths’. Morris expresses grief over the monkey's paw and tries to destroy it, Mr. White saves it and takes it off his hands for and buys it from him by trifle. At first he don’t want to take the money but he took them and ask Mr. white one more to throw the paw away .Mr. white believed in the paw and was anxious to know how to use it but Mrs. White and her son Hilbert don’t believe in it and was making fun of it.  His first wish is for 200 pounds, when nothing happens immediately, he and his family, wife and son Herbert, think that the monkey's paw is a hoax. The Whites' get the money from Herbert's factory after he is accidentally pulled into a machine and mangled to death.  The 2nd wish is thought of by Mrs. White, to bring her son back from the grave.  He has been dead for 10 days, again after the wish, nothing happens immediately.  The Whites' then begin to hear the sound of someone or something arriving at their door and a loud knocking begins.  Mrs. White wants to rush to the door. Mr. White is not so sure. As Mrs. White rushes to the door to open it, it is bolted at the top, she can't reach the lock, as she is dragging a chair to the door, Mr. White is furiously looking for the monkey's paw to make his 3rd wish. Mr. White makes his 3rd wish, to return whatever is at the door, Herbert or some form, thereof, back to the grave, just as Mrs. White opens the door, to find nothing but the dark empty night.

 

 

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