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The Monkey's Paw

The Monkey's Paw

by W.W. Jacobs

Technology and Modernization Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"That's the worst of living so far out," bawled Mr. White, with sudden and unlooked-for violence; "of all the beastly, slushy, out-of-the-way places to live in, this is the worst. Pathway's a bog, and the road's a torrent. I don't know what people are thinking about. I suppose because only two houses on the road are let, they think it doesn't matter." (1.6)

This passage points to the movement of people from isolated rural areas into the cities during the early 1900s in England. The Whites only have one neighbor and don't get many visitors because their place is hard to get to.

Quote #2

"Twenty-one years of it," said Mr. White, nodding at his wife and son. "When [Sergeant-Major Morris] went away he was a slip of a youth in the warehouse. Now look at him." (1.14)

Morris has spent most of his life in India in the army. He's bringing back new ideas to England, as represented by the paw. This is another aspect of modernization, the exchange of ideas as people from very different cultures interact.

Quote #3

"I'd like to go to India myself," said the old man, "just to look round a bit, you know." (1.16)

"Better where you are," said the sergeant-major, shaking his head. He put down the empty glass, and sighing softly, shook it again. (1.17)

Mr. White has been unable to participate in the changes going on in the world. He is isolated from the exploration of different lands, and from the factory life in the city. Whether he likes it or not, these things will intrude on his happy life before the story ends.

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