The Monkey’s Paw

by: W. W. Jacobs

Mrs. White

Mr. and Mrs. White also undergo an upsetting change, transforming from a happy couple into parents racked by grief. During the sergeant-major’s visit, Mrs. White is as eager as Herbert and Mr. White are to hear the tales of his exploits abroad. She is more willing to consider the truth of the monkey-paw story than Herbert is, but she is far less credulous than her husband. Indeed, she often shows herself to be more quick-witted than Mr. White. For example, she understands the significance of the Maw and Meggins representative’s visit before her husband does, and she is the one to suggest wishing on the monkey’s paw a second time to bring Herbert back to life. The death of her son and the belief that it might have been prevented nearly drive Mrs. White insane. Her transformation is far less dramatic than her son’s, but she still changes from an intelligent, self-possessed woman into a raving, shrieking, weeping mourner.