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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Monkey's Paw

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

Laburnam VillaThe main setting of "The Monkey's Paw" is inside and around the White family home, called Laburnam Villa. The story is probably set around the time it was published, in 1902. The firs...

Narrator Point of View

"The Monkey's Paw" is narrated in the third person. The narrator is like a spider on the wall inside the Whites home, conveying and commenting on the events taking place there, but never joining in...

Genre

The Basic Folk Tale FormulaLet's talk sausages. And noses. And male anatomy. (Trust us, this will all become clear.) See, this is a story about three wishes with really bad consequences. There are...

Tone

Tone refers to an author's attitude toward his characters and subject matter. We have to make guesses about the tone based on the author's writing. Here's what we've come up with:He seems to take t...

Writing Style

Foreshadowing is a tool that writers use to give readers clues about what to expect later on in the story and also to ratchet up the suspense. Skilled use of foreshadowing can also give a story a f...

What's Up With the Title?

This title is creepy and mysterious, drawing readers in to its web of fear. The mere mention of the paw of a monkey hints that we will be rewarded with chills and thrills. It sounds so exotic – w...

What's Up With the Ending?

Man, this story does not have a happy ending. Herbert is not coming back, and Mr. and Mrs. White are left childless and grieving.The interesting thing about the ending is that not everything is exp...

Plot Analysis

A happy family, an isolated cottage, and a mysterious visitor... When we first meet the Whites, they are basically happy people, though maybe a tad lonely and isolated. On a dark and stormy night,...

Trivia

The W.W. in W.W. Jacobs stands for William Wymark (source).W.W. Jacobs, author of "The Monkey's Paw," was known primarily as a writer of comedy in his day. He made his living by writing funny novel...

Steaminess Rating

Nothing to see here, folks. "The Monkey's Paw" is more bone-chilling than steamy.

Allusions

Arabian Nights (a.k.a. One Thousand and One Nights) (1.45)
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