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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What does the writer say that foreshadows the tragic consequences of the wishes as well as Herbert's own death?

Expert Answers

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Examples of the foreshadowing of death in W. W. Jacobs' short story "The Monkey's Paw":

  • While playing chess with Herbert, the father put his king into "unnecessary perils."
  • Over the chess board, Herbert's father, realizing he had made a "fatal mistake," remarks " 'Hark at the wind.' "
  • Sergeant-Major Morris mentions that interfering with the paw put people in peril, and " 'did so to their sorrow.' "
  • Morris tells the Whites that the previous owner's third wish involved death.
  • Morris further warns " 'don't blame me for what happens.' "
  • Herbert jokes that his first wish may " 'drop on his head from the sky.' "

The previous examples all come from the first two chapters of the story. There are other examples that foreshadow Herbert's return following the terrible accident.

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