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Characters Portraits And The Effects Of Their Actions In The Monkey's Paw

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The White family makes a big mistake when they decide to make their first wish, and it has its consequences. The story starts off on a rainy evening with Mr. White, Mrs. White, and their son Herbert sitting together in their living room. Mrs. White is sitting in her chair knitting as she is looking at her husband while he’s playing chess with Herbert. Mr. White suddenly hears the footsteps of someone walking along the side of their house and approaching the door. Someone knocks on the front door, Mr. White gets up and opens the door only to see that it is an old friend Sergeant Major Morris. They sit down together and Herbert decides he is going to call it a day and go upstairs. This paper will analyze the three main characters which are the three members of the White family and their actions throughout the story.

Mr. White is the father of Herbert and married to Mrs. White, he is annoyed at the fact that they do not live in the inner city. “That’s the worst part of living so far out…of all the beastly, slushy, out-of-the-way places to live in, this is the worst” (Mr. White). He is more than excited when he sees that his old friend Sergeant Major Morris comes to his home. When introduced to the Monkey’s Paw he is not sure that he wants to use it at first, he thinks he does not need anything else and he has everything he wants in life. When his son Herbert passes due to the first wish, he is completely against wishing back to life. After the outcome of the first wish he does not want to risk something like that happening again. He evidently uses his third wish to undo the wish his wife has made earlier in the story.

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When Mrs. White first learns about the monkey’s paw she doubts the powers of it. She is not convinced that the paw really has supernatural powers. When her son Herbert dies she does not handle it well and gets really depressed. She then starts to overthink and of course like any mother would do she uses the second wish to bring Herbert back from the dead. She is so desperate in fact that she goes against her husband and demands that she wants her son back. Mr. White tries to talk her out of it by using the outcome of the first wish as proof that the paw is pure evil, but she decides to make the wish anyway which is something she will regret later on.

Herbert, unlike his mother is very intrigued by the secret powers behind the monkey’s paw. When he is told it can grant three wishes, he immediately thinks of wealth and fame. He is very unfortunate because his father’s wish eventually leads to his death. Their first wish was to receive two hundred pounds, they did get the money but not exactly the way they imagined. One of Herbert’s co workers came to the White family’s house and delivered the money as a form of compensation from the company because his death was work related. His death took a huge toll on his parent’s life which led to the second wish and third wish.


In conclusion, all of the character’s actions lead up to the ending up the story. The ending is very depressing because Herbert is not coming back, Mr. and Mrs. White are entering a terrible era in their life because their only son is dead and it is because of Mr. White’s first wish. Then Mrs. White’s wish makes everything worse because it now brings him back but not in the same form. Although the ending is not clear, you can conclude that Mr. Whites third wish is to undo Mrs. White’s wish. Now, after the third wish the mood is calm yet very gloomy and sad, they most definitely regret finding the paw and using it to make their wishes become their worst nightmare.

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Characters Portraits And The Effects Of Their Actions In The Monkey’s Paw. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
“Characters Portraits And The Effects Of Their Actions In The Monkey’s Paw.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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Characters Portraits And The Effects Of Their Actions In The Monkey’s Paw [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Sept 22]. Available from:
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