What is the setting of "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs

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mercut1469 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While never explicitly stated, the setting of W.W. Jacobs short story "The Monkey's Paw" is the English countryside either at the end of the nineteenth century or the beginning of the twentieth. Jacobs refers to the home where Mr. and Mrs. White and their son Herbert live as "Laburnum Villa." The house is "far out" from the nearest town and this setting adds to the suspense at the end when the corpse of Herbert makes its way home from the cemetery which was two miles away. The laburnum is a deciduous tree which, while coveted for its beautiful flowers, is highly poisonous. Jacobs obviously used this name intentionally to indicate a place that seemed on the surface to be beautiful but was actually quite deadly. This name is in tune with the dark romanticism of the story. In dark romantic pieces of literature there is often a struggle between good and evil. In the story, the Whites are obviously good people who are lured into evil by the temptation of the paw which promises three wishes.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The setting of the "Money's Paw" is at the beginning of the twientieth century in England.  The story's author, W. W. Jacobs, himself a resident of London, England, often heard tales from strange and exotic lands from the seafarers who passed by his house on the Thames River.  As an adult, Jacobs make use of these tales as the background of his short stories, tales brought back from the many places under the rule of Victorian England.

The Morris family lives in the English countryside, as Jacobs writes that there are "living so far out," a remote area that has The old soldier has been part of a regiment that was stationed in India where a fakir is a Hindu monk. Certainly, he would have met an old fakir there, as well as heard stories much like that of the Morrisis.