Describe the living room of the Whites in The Monkey's Paw.

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "The Monkey's Paw" the condition of the house changes as a result of the events that unfold. When the family is happy and sharing together, the place is described as "cheerful", "bright", and accentuated with a warm hearth which symbolizes the joys of the home life.

 in the small parlour of Laburnum villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly...

As a Gothic story "The Monkey's Paw" reveals elements that are very typical of the gender such as the atmosphere created by bad weather, isolation, coldness, darkness, mystery, and the entrance of the supernatural.

The location of the home has these very variables and, while everything is "wholesome", "brilliant", and "bright" inside, outside the house lurks an ongoing scary darkness that seems to be desperately trying to get in at any chance it can.

"Of all the beastly, slushy, out of the way places to live in, this is the worst. Path's a bog, and the road's a torrent. I don't know what people are thinking about. I suppose because only two houses in the road are let, they think it doesn't matter."

As far as an actual complete description of the living room itself, what we get are bits and pieces that help us assume a few things:

1. The place was relatively small, and the family spend a lot of time in there. Its atmosphere changes as things take place, and it is almost as if it were a reflection of the family members

There was an air of prosaic wholesomeness about the room which it had lacked on the previous night....

2. As often happens, some things were out of place. When Sergeant-Major Morris comes in the house Mrs. White apologizes for the state of it, and it is casually mentioned that things were out of place.

3. That this very tranquil existence is evidence of the vulnerability of human nature; that even the most calm-looking, normal-looking, or even successful-looking people an also fall as preys of destiny, and that fate is nothing to play with regardless of who we are or what our station in life is.