What point in "The Monkey's Paw" would you identify as the climax?

1 Answer | Add Yours

lentzk's profile pic

Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The climax of the plot is the turning point of the story, in which the action or outcome has not yet been decided and could go either way.  In "The Monkey's Paw," the climax occurs at the very end of the story when Mr. and Mrs. White hear the knock on the door after Mrs. White has wished that Herbert would return to their family.  The scene is incredibly tense, with Mrs. White scrabbling at the door to open it to her beloved son, while Mr. White fears the worst sort of abomination may enter their home.  This moment is the climax, because the reader does not yet know the outcome of the story--it is still undecided whether or not a disfigured Herbert will creep into the house and kill them all or if Mr. White will find a way to stop him.  The falling action and resolution occur as Mr. White makes his final wish and the door opens to an empty street.  The reader immediately can relax--no disfigured zombie-Herberts make an appearance-- and the story ends peacefully enough.


We’ve answered 319,195 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question