What are examples of foreshadowing in the short story "The Monkey's Paw"?

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mizzwillie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the short story "The Monkey's Paw," several examples of foreshadowing come to mind. The family is playing a game at night with little light waiting for an old soldier friend of the father.  With little light the room is dark and rather somber rather than light filled and cheery.  When the man arrives, the discussions are quiet and dinner rather brief.  When the topic of the monkey's paw begins, the soldier warns the family of dire consequences which have happened to anyone  who used the paw for the three wishes.  The soldier explains that, even though the wishes come true, they are accomplished by some horrible twist in the wish.  When the paw is left with the family as the soldier leaves, he reminds the family that he cannot be blamed for what happens as he has told them of the danger the paw brings.  When the first wish comes true with the death of the son, the reader can see that this will all end badly.

kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jacob uses foreshadowing to hint at the events which will later feature in the story. Firstly, the "fatal mistake" mentioned in Mr. White's chess game foreshadows the mistake he will later make when he wishes for £200.

Secondly, in this same sentence, Mr. White says, "Hark at the wind." This is another example of foreshadowing, since this strong wind mirrors the wind which runs through the house at the end of the story when Mr. White wishes his son, Herbert, away.

Later, Herbert's suggestion that his father wish for £200 foreshadows the arrival of the money later on. In a tragic and ironic twist, however, Herbert also foreshadows his own demise and the £200 in compensation which is given to his parents.

These examples of foreshadowing help to build tension in the story and lead to the disturbing final scene in which Herbert is brought back from the dead only to be wished away by his father.