What advantages does the writer gain by allowing for alternative explanations in what really happened with respect to the three wishes?The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Considered a classic of horror fiction, "The Monkey's Paw" allows its readers to create much of the horror within their own minds.  For, it is in the imagination that much terror is generated.  In addition, by allowing for alternative explanations for the events in the plot that pertain to the threee wishes, the writer engages the reader in the narrative, which, in turn, generates more interest on the part of the readers.  Suspense, too, is added as a feature when readers are not certain of how the wishes will turn out.  For instance, when Mr. White makes his first decision about what to wish, much suspense is created since he is not specific as to where the money will emanate.