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The Monkey's Paw

The Monkey's Paw

by W.W. Jacobs

The Monkey's Paw Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. The question you've been waiting for all your life: If you were given three wishes, what would you wish for? Remember, be smart about this and give it plenty of thought. You don't want to make the same mistakes the Whites do.
  2. Why doesn't anybody ever wish for unlimited wishes? Are there any ways that wish could backfire?
  3. Do you think Mr. White's second wish came true? We never see an undead version of Herbert in the story, we only hear someone knocking on the White's door. Can you think of any other explanation for the sound?
  4. If you were in Mr. and Mrs. White's position, would you wish for Herbert to come back to life? Why or why not?
  5. Is Morris an untrustworthy guy? Is he trying to make Mr. White want the cursed paw?
  6. How does "The Monkey's Paw" compare to other stories about wishes that you've read or watched? (Maybe Aladdin, the Greek myth of "Apollo and Daphne," 13 Going on 30, or Coraline, for example.)
  7. This story helped horror-master Stephen King develop some of the plot elements and major themes that would win him a worldwide audience. Does the story inspire you to write a story of your own? What would you change? In what time period would you set it? What might your main character wish for?

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