Contrast the setting outside the Whites' home with with the scene in the living room before the sergeant-major's arrival."The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In"The Monkey's Paw," by W. W. Jacobs, the external and internal settings are described,

Without the night was cold and wet, but in the small parlor of Laburnam Villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly.

By this fire, Mrs. While knits placidly.  Losing the game with his son, the father attempts to distract his boy from finding his error as she says,

"Hark at the wind," he says to distract the son from seeing his "fatal mistake" in chess.

The mother tells her husband not to worry; he can win the next game.  The contrast between the ominous weather outside and the risky chess moves inside where there is a comforting fire are apparent.  When Sergeant Major Morris enters, however, the outside world has entered the safety of the White home and the risky moves of the chessboard take on a new significance.  They foreshadow what is to come in Jacobs's story:  As in the chess game, Mr. White tries to avoid his "fatal mistake" in life by "winning" the next game, but the ominous forces of fate enter, just as Morris enters from the stormy outdoors.