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The Monkey's Paw

The Monkey's Paw

by W.W. Jacobs

Death Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"The first man had his three wishes, yes," was the reply. "I don't know what the first two were, but the third was for death. That's how I got the paw." (1.33)

Wow, pretty strong warning there, but it's softened by Morris' claim that he has wished on the paw – and he's obviously still alive. (But we don't know whether anybody close to him died after he used the paw.) This statement foreshadows the fact that a death will occur in the story.

Quote #2

"Is he hurt?" demanded the mother.

The visitor bowed in assent. "Badly hurt," he said quietly, "but he is not in any pain." (2.17)

Herbert isn't in any pain because he's dead. That's a pretty creepy thing to say, don't you think? If you had to tell somebody her loved one was dead, would you use a direct or indirect approach?

Quote #3

"He was the only one left to us," he said, turning gently to the visitor. "It is hard." (2.23)

Jacobs is a master of saying a lot in just a few words. It seems very significant that there were other White children who died. It lets us know that the Whites are no strangers to grief and death.