What might be an alternate ending for the story "The Monkey's Paw"?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Since the story "The Monkey's Paw" opens with foreshadowing in references to son, the White's family circle, an unnamed "he" coming, and warnings to wish sensibly, an alternate ending would need to incorporate all these elements. In other words, a "he" related to their warm "family circle," a son, and confirmation of a need to be practical would have to be in the alternate ending to fulfill the foreshadowing and to tie up the threads of the story. One possible alternate ending is that when the knocking, knocking, knocking starts, Mr. White does not find the paw in time. The wife gets the bolt undone. She gets the chair moved. She opens the door and on the doorstep is the collapsed but living body of an illegitimate son of Mr. White who was summoned, though dying of consumption, to their house by the magic of the monkey's paw. The practical, or sensible, element would be that Mr. White wished for reconciliation while his wife was lamenting, while theĀ  fulfillment of the wish would include the young man's desire to reconcile with his extended family before the death he can feel coming touches him with its icy fingers.

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