The Monkey's Paw Questions and Answers
by W. W. Jacobs

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Summarize all the facts about the monkey's paw as revealed to the whites by Morris's behavior.

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Sergeant-Major Morris's behavior does not directly reveal facts about the monkey's paw, but the reader certainly forms ideas about the nature of the object based on his behavior. First, there is the fact that he is unwilling to talk about the monkey's paw when Mr. White brings up the subject, suggesting that it is a thing as well as a topic to be avoided if possible. He then mentions magic, which contrasts with his next remark about how the paw is an ordinary object in terms of its appearance. These two comments taken together suggest that the paw is extraordinary in some way that cannot be seen and that it may have magic powers.

Morris then tells the story of the enchantment put upon the paw by the old fakir. The Whites are inclined to laugh this off, but Morris's manner shows that he believes in the power of the monkey's paw, and this leads them to hide their skepticism. His gravity is reinforced by his dismissal of the idea of selling the paw and his final decisive gesture of throwing it on the fire. This action contradicts his words when he claims not to know whether he would want his own three wishes over again. His general taciturnity and moroseness strongly suggest that he regards the paw as both a powerful and an evil thing which has had a profound effect on his life. He is not prepared to share this effect with anyone and has grave doubts about sharing the power of the paw itself.

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