The Monkey’s Paw

by: W. W. Jacobs

Mr. White

Mr. White’s grief is twofold as he laments his son’s death as well as his decision to wish on the monkey’s paw in the first place. Unlike his wife, Mr. White realizes he should have never invited trouble by wishing for the two hundred pounds or to bring Herbert back to life. The fact that he believes an unholy creature stands knocking at his door instead of his son suggests that he feels guilty for having let selfishness overtake him when he made his wishes. Instead of passing off the knocking as an unrelated coincidence, he immediately jumps to the conclusion that evil stands on the other side, as if believing the paw has punished him for being greedy. His decision to wish the unwanted visitor away with his third wish may reflect his desire to not only save his and Mrs. White’s lives, but also redeem himself for his sins.