In "The Monkey's Paw," the climax, or highest point of suspense, occurs near the end of this story as Mr. White hurries to make the final wish on the monkey's paw.
Early on in the story, after having retrieved the monkey's paw from the fireplace where Sergeant Major Morris has suddenly thrown it, Mr. White makes a wish for £200 to pay off the mortgage for his and his wife's house. As it turns out, Mr. White receives this exact amount, but, tragically, it is a payment from the company his son Herbert worked at—Herbert has been caught in the machinery and died.
After the death of their only child, the Whites are forlorn. They are now very lonely on their remote lane. After their son has been in his grave a week, Mrs. White cries by the window of the bedroom at night. Suddenly, she cries out for the monkey's paw, demanding it from her husband. "Go down and get it quickly, and wish our boy alive again." Mr. White retrieves the paw, but he is afraid of the look on his wife's face. As he hesitates, his wife orders him to wish. "I wish my son alive again," Mr. White commands the paw. This second wish is as careless as his first.
It is with the sound of a knock that the climax begins. When Mr. White lights a match, he hears another sound.
"He [stood] motionless, his breath suspended until the knock was repeated." Then he turned and fled swiftly back to his room and closed the door behind him. "It's Herbert!" cried the old woman.
She hurries to open the door; Mr. White hurries to prevent her. Groping madly on the floor, he finds the monkey's paw and breathes his third and final wish. This is the climax. "Herbert was too terrible to see." Just as Mrs. White is about to open the door, the knocking ceases as Mr. White's final wish is granted. The forlorn Mrs. White cries, and Mr. White runs to her side.