illustration of an open-faced monkey's paw with a skull design on the palm

The Monkey's Paw

by W. W. Jacobs
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setting of the story

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The setting of a short story refers to the time, place, and circumstances in which the story is told.  In the W.W. Jacobs short story, “The Monkey’s Paw,” the tale begins on a cold, wet and windy night in the home of the White family. Mr. White and his son are playing a family-friendly game of chess. His wife watches the game from a short distance away. Despite the foul and uninviting weather outside, Mr. White patiently awaits a visit from an old friend, Sergeant-Major Morris. When his friend arrives, he begins to describe the many adventures in his life, including the means by which he came to own the monkey’s paw. It is through this story that the suspense of the story begins to build.


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