Ten days after the Whites bury their son, Mrs. White suddenly demands that her husband make another wish using the monkey's paw in the middle of the night. She instructs him to grab the monkey's paw and wish for Herbert to be alive again. Mr. White follows his wife's instructions by retrieving the monkey's paw and making a second wish. Despite briefly arguing with his wife, Mr. White reluctantly holds the paw and says, "I wish my son alive again" (Jacobs, 12).
The way Mr. White phrases the second wish is particularly important, because he exclusively wishes for Herbert to be alive again, without any further stipulations. Mr. White does not elaborate on the condition of Herbert's body when he is resurrected from the grave, which adds to the suspense of the story. By simply wishing for Herbert to be "alive again," Mr. White opens the possibility that his son will return in zombie form. As a result of Mr. White's vaguely phrased wish, the reader imagines Herbert's decaying, grotesque corpse rising from the grave and returning home, where he attempts to enter his parents' house. Fortunately, Mr. White is able to make a third and final wish before his wife opens the front door to see her son's decaying body in zombie form.