What is the mood in the beginning of the story?

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At the beginning of the story, W.W. Jacobs creates a comfortable, pleasant mood as Mr. White and his son play a game of chess on a stormy evening. The father and son enjoy their friendly game as Mrs. White quietly knits in the corner of the cozy room, which creates a soothing, tranquil atmosphere. Despite the pleasant, comfortable environment inside the parlor of the White residence, the torrential downpour outside and the secluded location of the home are unsettling and foreshadow the impending ominous atmosphere during Sergeant-Major Morris's visit. As soon as Mr. White asks his guest about the magic monkey's paw, Sergeant-Major Morris becomes irritable and wishes to dismiss the topic altogether. The story about the first owner's last wish and the fact that Sergeant-Major Morris throws the monkey's paw into the fire suggests that the talisman is wicked, which creates an eerie atmosphere and heightens the suspense. After Morris leaves, the suspense continues to build and the pleasant atmosphere becomes dark and unsettling after Mr. White uses the monkey's paw to wish for two hundred pounds. By initially setting a placid, comfortable mood, the eerie atmosphere created by Morris's story regarding the monkey's paw is emphasized and enhances the ominous mood of the story.

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As the story begins, the mood is quite calm and pleasant. Though it's cold and wet outside, the atmosphere inside the Whites' villa is warm, cozy, and inviting. Mr. White and his son are enjoying a game of chess in the small parlor while Mrs. White sits by the fire, knitting.

Such a calm and placid mood makes subsequent events all the more horrifying. The Whites are presented as an ordinary family leading an ordinary life in an ordinary house. And it's this very ordinariness that provides such a contrast to the strange, mystical powers of the monkey's paw. The irruption of the paw and its magic properties into the lives of the White family will be anything but ordinary. Thanks to the foolishness of the Whites in making three wishes on the monkey's paw, the cold, wet atmosphere outside their villa and the darkness it symbolizes will, in due course, come to invade this cozy little house, bringing with it death, misfortune, and tragedy.

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