illustration of an open-faced monkey's paw with a skull design on the palm

The Monkey's Paw

by W. W. Jacobs
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What was the second wish in "The Monkey's Paw?"

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After Sergeant-Major Morris visits the White residence and leaves the monkey's paw at their home, Mr. White casually holds the paw and wishes for two hundred pounds to pay off his mortgage. Unfortunately, Mr. and Mrs. White discover that the monkey's paw is evil when they receive two hundred pounds after their son dies in an accident at work. In Part 3, Mrs. White demands that her husband wish for their son to be alive again. After arguing with his wife for some time, Mr. White goes downstairs and brings the monkey's paw into his bedroom, where he makes the second wish. Mr. White's second wish is for Herbert to come back to life. Moments later, the Whites hear a knocking at their door, and they realize that Herbert's zombie corpse is outside of their front door. Fortunately, Mr. White is able to make the third wish for his son to disappear before Mrs. White opens the door.

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The second wish was Mrs. White's wish that her son, Herbert, would come back to life.

In this story, Sergeant-Major Morris comes to the Whites' house and shows them the monkey's paw.  He tells them about how there is the curse on it.  They don't really believe that it could cause as many problems as Morris says it does so they take it.

They first wish for 200 pounds (money).  Instead of just getting it as a prize or something, they get it as compensation when Herbert is killed at work.  After that, Mrs. White makes the second wish -- for Herbert to come back to life.

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