The Monkey’s Paw


Some time end of last year, I posted this interesting monkey story on my blog.

As usual, Dr Mike read it. He then suggested that I read “The Monkey’s Paw” written by W W Jacobs. It’s an old school horror story. I did not know that there is such a classic story book.

Whenever I visited bookstores or flea markets, I was looking for it without success. But just last week, whilst passing by Sungei Rd flea market, I chanced upon this book. It’s only a dollar asking price. I bought it straightaway and read it on the same day when I reached home.

It’s a nice little horror story written in a typical old English style. Unlike those modern American writers, this book exudes old world charm and the language is reassuringly swift flowing full of charm. Once a way, I just like to read old English classic books. It’s one of the few horror story books I’ve read cuz I’m not a horror fan.

Dr Mike, Thks for introducing this book. I enjoyed reading it.

“The Monkey’s Paw” is a horror short story by author W. W. Jacobs. It was published in England in 1902.

The story is based on the famous “setup” in which three wishes are granted. In the story, the paw of a dead monkey is a talisman that grants its possessor three wishes, but the wishes come with an enormous price for interfering with fate.

The story involves Mr. and Mrs. White and their adult son Herbert. Sergeant-Major Morris, a friend of the Whites who has been part of the British Armed Forces in India, leaves them with the monkey’s paw, telling of its mysterious powers to grant three wishes, and of its journey from an old fakir to his comrade, who used his third and final wish to wish for death.

Mr. White wishes for £200 to be used as the final payment on his house. Following that, Herbert is killed by machinery at his company, but they do get compensation of £200.

Ten days after the funeral, Mrs. White, almost mad with grief, asks her husband to wish Herbert back to life with the paw. Reluctantly, he does so. After a delay, there is a knock at the door. Mrs. White fumbles at the locks in an attempt to open the door. Mr. White knows, however, that he cannot allow their son in, as his appearance will be too horrific. Mr. White was required to witness and identify the body, which had been mutilated by the accident and then buried for more than a week. He wishes his third wish, and the knocking stops. Mrs. White opens the door to find no one there.

The theme of the story is contained in this description of the paw:

“It had a spell put on it by an old fakir,” said the sergeant-major, “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.”


About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I write for pleasure. I also write mainly for my family and friends.
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3 Responses to The Monkey’s Paw

  1. Lohcifer says:

    Glad you like the story, and found an actual copy of the book!

    • “في هذه الحياة التي نعيشها لم يجعل الله مصائرنا في أيدي الآخرين, ولكنه منحنا ضعفا كافيا لنسلّم مصائرنا لهم”
      ― محمد حسن علوان

      “In this life we ​​live God did not make our destinies in the hands of others, but it gave us enough times to recognize our destinies to them” – Mohammed Hassan Alwan

      Is this interpretation suitable surmise of the moral of the story?

      I believe that we shld not play God. We shld not interfere in divinity and upset the equilibrium in our life.

      “Yet it would be your duty to bear it, if you could not avoid it: it is weak and silly to say you cannot bear what it is your fate to be required to bear.”
      ― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

      Maybe, this is the best way to live our life ….

      “There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.”
      ― Elizabeth Gilbert

      Dr Mike, Thanks. It’s a thought provoking story. It’s not easy to find. I got it worn out, discarded by someone.

  2. Ah Heng says:

    Hi Gintai:

    Thank you for blogging about “The Monkey’s Paw”, which given me some food for thought. I have written a short post about the Buddhist perspective of “fate”:

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