The Monkey's Paw
Fate and Free Will Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"The firm wished me to convey their sincere sympathy with you in your great loss," he said, without looking round. "I beg that you will understand I am only their servant and merely obeying orders." (2.25)
The man from Maw and Meggins (probably the company that owns the factory where Herbert worked) explains that he doesn't necessarily agree with what he's about to do. He doesn't want the Whites to think he is as unfeeling as the firm he works for. Like the Whites, he seems to feel his life is out of his own control. He is caught between his own will and the will of his employers. Is he as powerless as he claims?
"No," she cried, triumphantly; "we'll have one more. Go down and get it quickly, and wish our boy alive again." (3.17)
Mrs. White is used to being able to control her husband. Here she is able to convince him to wish Herbert alive, even though he really doesn't want to. What gives her this power over him?
"We had the first wish granted," said the old woman, feverishly; "why not the second."
"A coincidence," stammered the old man. (3.22)
Here Mr. White is making an argument that Herbert's death happened because of the dangerous conditions where he worked. He doesn't want to believe he caused Herbert's death by wishing on the paw. The fact that he stammers these words suggests that he isn't entirely convinced of this.