Sergeant-Major-Morris then tells how the owner of this magical monkeys paw is granted three wishes. Despite warning from Sergeant-Major-Morris, Mr White in greed wishes for two hundred pounds. We are then left wondering if Mr Whites wish will come true and before any money is found, Herbert White dies in a tragic machinery accident at work. Visited by a representative from the work the Whites receive two hundred pound in compensation, which we are then left to believe is the two hundred pound Mr White wished for and that the monkey’s paw is in fact magical.
After Herbert is laid to rest his mother, Mrs White, in desperation demands Mr White use one of two remaining wishes to wish their son alive again. Despite protest Mr White wishes and later knocking begins at the door, which may be Herbert White. Mrs White escapes her husbands restrain and dashes to the door while Mr White searches rapidly to find the monkeys paw in order to wish his son dead again to prevent his wife seeing her son’s tattered, torn body.
In this extremely dramatic climax Mrs White finally gets the bolt off and ready to rip the door open just as Mr White finds the paw and uses his third and final wish. The street was deserted and Mrs White was left in devastation, Mr White in relief and we are left in a state f uncertainty, who was knocking on the door? What was Mr White’s final wish? And was all this the result of the monkeys paw? believe W. W Jacobs use of setting is superb for producing a suspenseful atmosphere in this short story.
He sets the story in rural England in the early 1 900s, so there wasn’t any electricity, the area was isolated, desolate, miserable and there were only two houses in the whole area and Mr White lets us see his feelings towards the area very early on: “That’s the worst of living so far out… of all the beastly, slushy, out-of-the- way places to live in, this is the worst. Mr White’s use of “of all” shows just how badly he regards the area that out “of all” the other areas out there he feels his is the worst.
By describing the area as such W. W Jacobs paints images in our heads of eerie, scary, ghost like little village and this adds to the feeling of uncertainty and fear of what is going to happen. Jacobs then tells of the atmosphere within the White’s house and by doing so allows the reader to see the clear comparison from outside to inside. Through fine use of narrative, Jacobs, describes the atmosphere in the house as: “The fire burned brightly… Father and son were at chess/ the white-haired old lady knitting placidly by the fire. He sets a lovely atmosphere, ‘the fire burned brightly”‘ symbols the warmth and light in the house, father and son playing chess with mother close by knitting shows it is a close family, and its a peaceful carefree environment, everyone at ease yet all this danger, darkness, rain and isolation is surrounding the White’s and their peace. This comparison in atmosphere creates a mood of suspense and discomfort, and we find ourselves wondering what would happen, what would e the consequences if something from the outside that dangerous outside got inside the White’s home.
This thought, the difference in atmosphere and in mood unsettles the reader and is superb for creating suspense. Jacobs excellent use of narrative also assists to create an atmosphere of fear and suspense. In the opening when narrating Jacobs use of word choice is fantastic and adds to the fearful and dangerous atmosphere by using words like: “Possessed…. sharp unnecessary perils that provoked comment…. the words died he hid a guilty grin.
All of these words that are particularly used by Jacobs all carry with them a sense of danger and are used almost in a subliminal fashion to strike fear and danger into us without really being aware or in control. Through analysing the narrative dialogue in greater detail it brings our attention to the great detail Jacobs uses and how precise he was when building up the catalyst within the story, Sergeant-Major-Morris. Before his introduction we feel Sergeant-Major- Morris is a mysterious man right from the beginning the Whites are waiting and waiting for their guest, but why we ask what part has he to play?. W.
W Jacobs fine description of Sergeant-Major-Morris adds to our state of suspense: “A tall, burly man, beady of eye and rubicund of visage” This very exotic, articulate description proves he has a big part to play instead of using simple terms such as, old or rosy faced, Jacobs uses words like “rubicund” and ‘Wisage” which draws our attention to this character and adds to this mood of suspense as we are left asking ourselves what part has this mysterious man have to play in this story, what is the purpose of his visit and this man has come from the dark and dangerous utside into the warmth and peaceful inside of the Whites home what has he brought with him?. Sergeant-Major-Morris is the key character for suspense, he starts of mysterious, we do not know much about him, he has came from the outside into the Whites home we do not know exactly know why. But then we find out, the monkey’s paw, everything the visitor states leaves us in a state of suspense, we do not know if it is true, we do not know the consequences of this “magical” paw and all this makes this outsider bring a sense of suspense, danger and uncertainty to this once peaceful home.
One particular description made by Sergeant-Major-Morris when talking about the paws history I feel sums up his character: “It had a spell put on it by an old fakir… a very holy man/He wanted to show that fate ruled people’s lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow. ” Right away my attention is drawn to “fate” and “sorroW’ and I am left in suspense, what is going to happen, this statement shows that Sergeant- Major-Morris has brought with him the danger of the outside and it is now taking place in the Whites home. After reading this quote and understanding the moral f the monkey’s paw and know that “they who interfered did so to their sorro#.
Knowing this I begin to wonder why anyone would want to be near the thing yet Mr Whites visitor has been carrying this curse with him all along, so why of all the places decide to give it away to Mr White even though Sergeant-Major-Morris did throw it on the fire he must have known Mr White was desperate to have it and it was of no surprise to him when Mr White snatched it off the fire and even after this why did Sergeant-Major-Morris not take it and throw it else where as he new the consequences of wishing and the danger of possessing it. Sergeant- Major-Morris broke the barrier between the peaceful inside and the dark and dangerous outside and therefore was the catalysts in the Whites terrible run of luck. Being the first visitor Morris brought danger, suspense and the monkey’s paw, the next visitor was the representative from Herbert’s work and right away we know something is wrong, we are told: “Three times he paused at the gate, and then walked on again/The fourth time he stood with his hand upon it, and with sudden resolution flung it open and walked up the path.
Right away we are in a mood of suspense, why is this man in this isolated, desolate area here, why does he check back three times, why doesn’t he go in first time, there are only two homes in the area and this builds uncertainty for the readers. Finally the last visitor, we do not know exactly who it was but he/she was repeatedly banging on the door late at night and we suspect it to be the body of Herbert White and this visitor is not here to give good news. All these visitors have came from the outside and all bring with them danger, bad news, fear and suspense. The writers’ use of dialogue is fantastic for creating a mood of suspense in the short story.
None more so than this statement from Mrs White after she makes her husband wish Herbert alive again, after hours of waiting she finally hears knocking at the door: “It’s my boy; it’s Herbert! I forgot it was two miles away’ This peace of dialogue is fantastic for creating a mood of suspense as it makes us picture this torn apart body of Herbert White walking in the night through the graveyard then up onto the roads and towards his home. Which I find petrifying just the thought of seeing this body walking through the night creates massive mounts of fear and suspense, what is going to happen when Mrs White opens that door, what is going to come through it and what will it do, how will Mrs White react when she sees it?. The writers fine use of suspense is optimised in the climax of the short story.
After Mrs White forces Mr White to wish Herbert alive again and the knocking begins at the door, in desperation Mrs White escapes her husbands grasp and dashes to the door, but is unable to reach the lock: “The bolt, …. Come Down. I can’t reach it” Cried Mrs White but Mr White in a scurry tried in a last ditch attempt to find the onkeys paw: “… on his hands and knees groping wildly on the floor in search of the monkeys paw All of this commotion and desperation adds suspense and this race to see who will find the paw or who will open the door makes adds excitement to the already uncertain and fearful mood and atmosphere. At the same moment Mr White found the paw as Mrs White unlocked the door and we prepare ourselves for the unexpected what is going to happen just as: “. rantically breathed his third and final wish” The knocking ceased suddenly, Mrs White ripped the door open, only to the wind of a deserted street. Mrs White was left in despair and disappointment, Mr White in relief and we are left in suspense, who was knocking? , what did Mr White wish for? And was all these events the result of the Monkey’s Paw. Further more feel W. W Jacobs peace ‘The Monkey’s PaW’ makes for a fantastic and suspense read. The characters are all mysterious making for a mood of uncertainty, the dialogue is in great detail and this adds to the mood and suspenseful atmosphere, the narrative work is superb and assisted by the suspenseful setting, all of these combined make this short story a superb and suspenseful read from start to finish.