At the end of the story, The Monkey's Paw, by W.W. Jacobs, how have Mr. and Mrs. White's feelings about the talisman changed?

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kathik | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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In the beginning of the short story, "The Monkey's Paw," by W. W. Jacobs,  Mr. White is very curious about the paw talisman brought to the family's attention by Sergeant Major Morris. After discovering that Sergeant Major Morris has had his three wishes granted, and that a man before him also had his, Mr. White asks Morris, "Why do you keep it?" The reader knows Mr. White is hoping Morris will give it to him. This is verified when Morris tosses the paw into the fire, and Mr. White quickly fishes it out. Morris tells him it would be better if he let it burn and that if he takes it, whatever happens will not be Morris' fault. Of course Mr. White keeps it, and he gets his wishes. By the end of the story, Mr. White knows the power of the monkey's paw, and when his wife begs him to wish his son alive, he does it, but then realizes the horror that will be visited upon them and uses his last wish to put Herbert back in his grave. Mr. White's curiosity has turned to fear.

Mrs. White, on the other hand, thought the whole idea of a "magical" paw was ridiculous in the beginning, but at the end sees it as an answer to her suffering.  "Our first wish was granted. Why not the second?" In her grief, she is willing to do anything to bring her beloved son back.

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