The exposition of "The Monkey's Paw" begins with the genial White family receiving a visit from their old friend, Sargent-Major Morris, who regales them with tales from India, including one fascinating story about a magical monkey's paw that could give three wishes to three men.
The rising action of the story develops as Mr. White asks if he can have the monkey's paw, which Morris begrudgingly relinquishes with a warning about its mysterious, dark powers. The entire White family deliberates on what the father should wish for, finally settling on a modest sum of two hundred pounds. The next day after their dear son has left for work, the couple receive a visitor informing them that Herbert has died in a machine accident, and the company would like to bestow upon them two hundred pounds. The mother longs for her son and begs her husband to make a wish to bring Herbert back. The rising action of the story continues on until the climax-- the moment when the old couple hear the knocking at the door.