How does the family's mood change after Mr. White makes his first wish?

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Despite the dire warnings from Sergeant Major Morris, Mr. White purchases the monkey's paw from the old soldier. Herbert and Mrs. White are playfully skeptical about Mr. White's new possession at first. Mrs. White, obviously not buying the soldier's story, says, "Don't you think you might wish for four pairs...

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Despite the dire warnings from Sergeant Major Morris, Mr. White purchases the monkey's paw from the old soldier. Herbert and Mrs. White are playfully skeptical about Mr. White's new possession at first. Mrs. White, obviously not buying the soldier's story, says, "Don't you think you might wish for four pairs of hands for me." Likewise, Herbert seems to make fun of his father's newly acquired item, saying,

"Why, we're going to be rich, and famous, and happy. Wish to be an emperor, Father; to begin with; then you can't be bossed around."

The lightheartedness, however, stops after Mr. White makes his first wish. The piano crashes loudly and Mr. White thinks the paw squirmed in his hand. Suddenly, the three are apprehensive with Mrs. White "regarding" her husband "anxiously" and a door banging upstairs. Eventually the mood descends into one of silence and depression as the three sit together before the fire. When the couple rise to go to bed, Herbert tries to break the melancholy with a joke but his words seem only to portend further gloom. After his parents go to bed, he sees "horrible" and "simian" faces in the embers of the flickering fire.

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As soon as Mr. White makes the wish, the family is doubtful about the efficacy of the paw.  They do not really believe anything will happen.  In fact, the mood is very playful and sarcastic.  Herbert says that they will be rich and famous in a sarcastic tone.  He also adds the joke that his mother won't boss around his father.  Mrs. White pretends to be perturbed and chases Herbert around.  The picture that emerges is one of playful doubt. 

'God, we’re going to be rich and famous and happy! Wish that you were an emperor, father, to begin with. Then mother won’t order you around.'

Mrs White pretended to be angry at this and chased him round the table, while Mr White looked at the paw doubtfully.

This playfulness continues, when Herbert says to his father that there will probably be a bag of money on his bed when he awakes.

‘You’ll probably find the money in a big bag in the middle of your bed,’ Herbert joked as he said goodnight to them...

The only one who changes a bit is Mr. White.  He begins to fear.  He thinks that the paw moved, and he thinks he sees the image of a monkey in the fire.  He does not make much of it; he goes to sleep. 

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