What is the point of view in "The Monkey's Paw?" Provide textual support for proof. 

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To start with, we can tell that the point of view in “The Monkey’s Paw” is some sort of third person point of view.  We know this because the narrator in this story constantly refers to the characters by name and by pronouns like “he” and “them.”  This shows that the story is not being narrated in the first person.

There are different types of third person points of view.  The point of view depends on how much the narrator “knows.”  If the narrator can only “know” what they can see, the point of view is third person objective.  Sometimes, however, the narrator knows more than he or she can see.  The narrator knows what people are thinking or feeling.  If the narrator knows this, but only about one character, the point of view is third person limited omniscient.  However, if the narrator has access to the thoughts and feelings of all of the characters, the point of view is third person omniscient.

In “The Monkey’s Paw,” the point of view is third person omniscient.  The narrator does not use their omniscience very often, but it is there.  For example, at the beginning of the story, we know why Mr. White talks about how the wind is blowing.  He does that because

He had made a serious mistake and wanted to distract his son’s attention so that he wouldn’t see it.

The narrator could not know this without having access to Mr. White’s thoughts.  Later, we see that the narrator knows what others are thinking as well.  The narrator knows what Mrs. White thinks during the day after Mr. White wishes for the money.  We are told that “she didn’t believe that the talisman could grant wishes” but that when the postman came to the door “she was disappointed that it was only a bill.”  From these passages, we can see that the narrator has access to the thoughts of more than one character.  Therefore, the point of view in this story is third person omniscient.