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What is the point of view in "The Monkey's Paw"?

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motorxdude619 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 13, 2007 at 10:43 AM via web

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What is the point of view in "The Monkey's Paw"?

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted October 5, 2010 at 5:23 PM (Answer #2)

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First person narration will use me, my, mine, and etc. Second person will use you, your, yours, and etc. Third person will use everything else. Third person omniscient is all seeing/all knowing about each of the characters. In the first paragraph we find out that the father is desirous, grim, violent (so to speak), The wife is soothing. She and the son are sharing knowing looks. etc. We look into each of the characters and their reactions.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 5, 2010 at 5:47 PM (Answer #3)

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I think you're exactly right about "The Monkey's Paw" being written in third person omniscient.  The entire beginning of the story addresses the characters by their proper, more formal names:  Mr. White, Mrs. White, Sergeant Major Morris.  Note the following line and you'll see the third person references (she, he, and they as opposed to I, me, and my) as well as the omniscient (all-knowing) point of view:

She broke off suddenly as the sinister meaning of the assurance dawned upon her and she saw the awful confirmation of her fears in the other's averted face. She caught her breath, and turning to her slower-witted husband, laid her trembling old hand upon his. There was a long silence.

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 13, 2007 at 12:05 PM (Answer #1)

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The point of view is 3rd person limited.  This means that there is an outside narrator who is telling the story, and not one character him or herself (that would be 1st person POV).  The "limited" part means that although the narrator is "above" the story, the story still focuses on following one person only.  In the case, the focus is on Mr. White, and readers see the story through his eyes.

Sources:

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snowboardingdancer | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 7, 2008 at 3:08 AM (Answer #2)

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sullymonster is right, the view is third person limited, so you can't know what the characters are thinking but you know everything they say.

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meisam | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 21, 2009 at 7:38 PM (Answer #3)

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omniscient

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

Posted November 17, 2010 at 4:39 AM (Answer #4)

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Yep, this story is definitely written in third person omniscient. The two points of view that are often confused and slightly difficult to separate are the omniscient point of view and then the third person limited, which is identified because we are still told the story in the third person (he, they etc), but we still follow the action from the perspective of one person. It is like we are spectators looking in but following one of the characters alone. In this story we follow all characters and do not just zoom in on one, indicating that it is told using the omniscient point of view.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 17, 2010 at 12:12 PM (Answer #5)

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That the story "Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs is written in omniscient narrator is evinced in passages in which the characters are described as thinking something or doing something in a manner that is described by the narrator.  Here are examples:

"Likely," said Herbert, with pretended horror.

Herbert sat alone in the darkness, gazing at the dying fire, and seeing faces in it.

She [Mrs. White] broke off suddenly as the sinister meaning of the assurance dawned upon her and she saw the awful confirmation of her fears in the other's averted face.

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malaknasser | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 7, 2010 at 9:13 AM (Answer #4)

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yeah i agree with sullymonster it a 3rd person point of view

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