One theme of W.W. Jacobs story, "The Monkey's Paw," is told by the old fakir. Essentially it is that there is the existence of fate, and any interference with it has disastrous results. Here are two examples:
1. When Mrs. White asks the sergeant major if he has had his three wishes granted,
"I did," said the sergeant major, and his glass tapped against his strong teeth.
When asked if he would like to have three more wishes, the old solier replies, "I don't know...I don't know."
2. Then, when the soldier tosses the paw into the fire in order to destroy it, Mr. White retrieves the fateful paw even though the soldier solemnly tells him, "Better let it burn." But, Mr. Morris asks for it, and his son Herbert encourages Morris to make a wish. While the wish seems harmless--a wish for 200 pounds--and the events happen so slowly that they seem coincidental, the interference with fate does, indeed, have diasastrous and tragic results: The money is an insurance payment on the death of the Morris's son, Herbert.