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The main theme in W. W. Jacobs's short story, "The Monkey's Paw," deals with the aspects of fate. The three wishes given to the owner of the paw appear to be a wonderful thing, not unlike the story about the magic lamp inhabited by a genie who provides three wishes to its owner. However, the paw's wishes are found to be of a much more sinister nature: The wishes come true, but not in the desired way. Another theme concerns the human condition. The Whites seem to be a sensible family, but each of them make mistakes concerning the wishes they hope to receive from the paw. Mr. White is a bit of a gambler, and his wish for mortgage money comes with a price. Mrs. White doesn't consider her wish carefully, and her son does not return in the physical manner that she had hoped. As for the rising action of the story, it evolves from the beginning of the wishes being made, up until the final wish.
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