The Monkey's Paw
How we cite our quotes:
"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.
"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?
"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.