The Monkey's Paw Questions and Answers
by W. W. Jacobs

The Monkey's Paw book cover
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What is a brief plot summary of "The Monkey's Paw"?

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Edith Sykes eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Monkey's Paw is a story about a mystical charm, a monkey's paw that is brought into the home of the White family by Sergeant Major Morris, who has served in India.  The monkey's paw has the ability to grant 3 wishes to 3 people.  S.M. Morris was the 2nd owner, the 1st owner's 3rd wish was for death. 

S.M. Morris expresses grief over the monkey's paw and tries to destroy it, Mr. White saves it and takes it off his hands for a small fee.  His first wish is for 200 pounds, when nothing happens immediately, he and his family, wife and son Herbert, think that the monkey's paw is a hoax.

The Whites' get the money from Herbert's factory after he is accidentally pulled into a machine and mangled to death.  The 2nd wish is thought of by Mrs. White, to bring her son back from the grave.  He has been dead for 10 days, again after the wish, nothing happens immediately.  The Whites' then begin to hear the sound of someone or something arriving at their door and a loud knocking begins.  Mrs. White wants to rush to the door. Mr. White is not so sure.

As Mrs. White rushes to the door to open it, it is bolted at the top, she can't reach the lock, as she is dragging a chair to the door, Mr. White is furiously looking for the monkey's paw to make his 3rd wish.

Mr. White makes his 3rd wish, to return whatever is at the door, Herbert or some form, thereof, back to the grave, just as Mrs. White opens the door, to find nothing but the dark empty night.  

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gbeatty eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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"The Monkey's Paw" is a classic, even amazing, story of supernatural suspense. The monkey's paw is a magical artifact. Anyone who owns it gets three wishes granted. They come true—but never precisely as you wish, so that you get what you...

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merehughes eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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asasaa1234 | Student

The Monkey's Paw is a story about a mystical charm, a monkey's paw that is brought into the home of the White family by Sergeant Major Morris, who has served in India.  The monkey's paw has the ability to grant 3 wishes to 3 people.  S.M. Morris was the 2nd owner, the 1st owner's 3rd wish was for deaths’. Morris expresses grief over the monkey's paw and tries to destroy it, Mr. White saves it and takes it off his hands for and buys it from him by trifle. At first he don’t want to take the money but he took them and ask Mr. white one more to throw the paw away .Mr. white believed in the paw and was anxious to know how to use it but Mrs. White and her son Hilbert don’t believe in it and was making fun of it.  His first wish is for 200 pounds, when nothing happens immediately, he and his family, wife and son Herbert, think that the monkey's paw is a hoax. The Whites' get the money from Herbert's factory after he is accidentally pulled into a machine and mangled to death.  The 2nd wish is thought of by Mrs. White, to bring her son back from the grave.  He has been dead for 10 days, again after the wish, nothing happens immediately.  The Whites' then begin to hear the sound of someone or something arriving at their door and a loud knocking begins.  Mrs. White wants to rush to the door. Mr. White is not so sure. As Mrs. White rushes to the door to open it, it is bolted at the top, she can't reach the lock, as she is dragging a chair to the door, Mr. White is furiously looking for the monkey's paw to make his 3rd wish. Mr. White makes his 3rd wish, to return whatever is at the door, Herbert or some form, thereof, back to the grave, just as Mrs. White opens the door, to find nothing but the dark empty night.

 

 

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lilmissz | Student

The story centers on a monkey's paw which has magical powers. It gives to its owner three wishes. The monkey's paw is given to a family of three, father, mother, and son. They wish for some money, and the next day an employee of the company where the son is working arrives at the family's residence and tells the parents that their son has died in an accident and they will receive a monetary compensation, the exact amount they wished for. About a week later, the mother wishes that their son would return home alive. When knocking is heard at the door, the father realizes what has happened and before the mother can open the door, the father uses the last wish. The knocking stops and when the door is opened, no one is there.

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reneeo13 | Student

Be careful what you wish for is both the morale and the plot of "The Monkey's Paw". The parents want everything wonderful for their son and make wishes on a charm which they hope will result in a better life for the whole family. Unfortunately their wish for financial gain results in the son's death. The mother then insists that they wish for his return. He returns as a monster.

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