What could have happened to the first owner of "The Monkey's Paw" to make him wish for death?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

We can only speculate about the wishes made by the previous owners of the monkey's paw. Sergeant-Major Morris doesn't specify what his own wishes were; his three wishes were granted, he tells the Whites who, oddly, do not ask him what they were. Morris is still alive, so he does not...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

We can only speculate about the wishes made by the previous owners of the monkey's paw. Sergeant-Major Morris doesn't specify what his own wishes were; his three wishes were granted, he tells the Whites who, oddly, do not ask him what they were. Morris is still alive, so he does not ask for death as the owner before him had done. Morris does not appear to be a wealthy man, so his wishes may not have included great riches, as many people would request. The owner before Morris must have received terrible responses to his wishes, probably in an ironic manner in which he could never imagined--in much the same way as the Whites' wishes turned out.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team