Three Wishes in "The Monkey's Paw"

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 506 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

Words: 506|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Greed as a Destructive Force
  2. The Inescapable Grip of Fate
  3. The Supernatural Element
  4. Conclusion

"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs is a classic short story that explores the consequences of having three wishes granted by a magical monkey's paw. The tale follows the White family as they come into possession of the paw and are given three wishes. However, as they soon discover, these wishes come with a heavy price. This essay will delve into the themes of greed, fate, and the supernatural in "The Monkey's Paw" and how these elements contribute to the overall message of the story.

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Greed as a Destructive Force

One of the central themes in "The Monkey's Paw" is the destructive nature of greed. When the Whites are given the monkey's paw, they are initially excited by the prospect of having their wishes granted. However, as they begin to make their wishes, it becomes clear that their desires are driven by greed and selfishness. Mr. White's wish for money leads to the tragic death of his son, Herbert, as he is killed in a work-related accident that results in a monetary compensation for the family. This demonstrates how unchecked greed can lead to dire consequences and serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of pursuing wealth at any cost.

The Inescapable Grip of Fate

Another important theme in "The Monkey's Paw" is the idea of fate and how it cannot be altered by human intervention. Despite their best intentions, the Whites are unable to change their destiny through their wishes. The monkey's paw seems to have a will of its own, twisting the outcomes of the wishes in unexpected and tragic ways. This is exemplified by the final wish made by Mrs. White, who wishes for her dead son to come back to life. The consequences of this wish are left ambiguous, but the implication is clear – fate cannot be altered, and meddling with the natural order of things only leads to disaster.

The Supernatural Element

The supernatural element in "The Monkey's Paw" adds an eerie and unsettling tone to the story. The mysterious and malevolent nature of the monkey's paw, with its ability to grant wishes that come at a terrible price, creates a sense of dread and foreboding throughout the narrative. The paw is described as having a "spell put on it by an old fakir" and is imbued with a sense of evil and darkness. This supernatural element serves to heighten the tension and suspense in the story, as the Whites grapple with the consequences of their wishes and face the terrifying consequences of their actions.

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"The Monkey's Paw" is a chilling and thought-provoking tale that explores themes of greed, fate, and the supernatural. Through the tragic experiences of the White family, the story conveys a powerful message about the dangers of unchecked desire, the inevitability of fate, and the unsettling forces at play in the world. Ultimately, "The Monkey's Paw" serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of tampering with the unknown and the consequences of pursuing one's wishes without considering the cost.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Three Wishes in “The Monkey’s Paw”. (2024, March 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from
“Three Wishes in “The Monkey’s Paw”.” GradesFixer, 15 Mar. 2024,
Three Wishes in “The Monkey’s Paw”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 Jun. 2024].
Three Wishes in “The Monkey’s Paw” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 15 [cited 2024 Jun 19]. Available from:
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