With the story of The Monkey's Paw in the background,bring out the element of superstition

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lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am not sure if I understand your question the way it is phrased - with the story "in the background" - what does this mean? Are you asking about how the element of supersition is revealed in the story, or is the "superstition" a backdrop to something else you must do?

This short story is about supersition. A family believes that a mummified monkey's paw will give them three wishes. They receive it from a man who has already made his three wishes, and he received it from a man whose third wish was for death. The first wish Mr. White makes is for 200 pounds. He gets his wish when his son Herbert is killed at work and the company sends a representative to the home to offer the parents, Mr. and Mrs. White, 200 pounds for their son's service. Mrs. White eventually convinces her husband to wish for Herbert to come back to life, and then one night, they hear a knocking at the door. They believe it is Herbert, coming back from the dead. Mr. White frantically searches for the paw, which he has thrown on the ground. He does not want his wife to have to see Herbert's body, as he was badly mangled in an accident with machinery at work. As the story ends, the reader assumes that the third wish was for the dead body to go away. The theme of the story is not to mess with fate, but the background of supersition that prompts the characters to believe in the power of the monkey's paw is the catalyst for the story.