The Monkey's Paw by W. W. Jacobs

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In "The Monkey's Paw," what role does fate play in the lives of the White family?

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Fate is generally understood to be the occurrence of events outside a person's control. Many interpretations regard fate as being the predetermined course of one's life—destiny, that is. As such, it is deemed to be under the control of a supernatural force.

General Major Morris has experienced the power of this supernatural force and tries to warn the Whites against tampering with destiny. The Whites, however, flippantly ignore his dire injunction and joke about it. Mr. White experiences some of the paw's power when the object moves in his hand once he wishes for two hundred pounds to settle his bond. It becomes quite evident that this invisible and powerful force does exist, as proven by the tragic events which follow.

Mr. White's wish comes true but at a terrible price. Herbert, his son, dies in a horrific accident at work, and his employers present the family a compensatory two-hundred-pound check. Both Mr. and Mrs. White are devastated. Mrs. White is now convinced of the paw's...

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