During the course of the W. W. Jacobs short story, Mr. and Mrs. White's view of the paw undergoes several changes. When the old soldier first reveals the paw, they are curious. Their fascination grows as his story about the paw's origins continues. When their son, Herbert, retrieves it from the fireplace, they show skepticism and some trepidation, but their desire for its possible riches allow them to keep it in their possession. After Herbert's death, their horror at the paw's possibilities grows. After the second awful wish seems to have also come true, they are no doubt resolute to the paw's capabilities. The final wish becomes a wise one, eliminating the horrors that it has created and returning them to their previous life--albeit without their beloved son.