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"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs

Organizing Your Thoughts Before You Read

1. Give the title and author of the story. ________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 2. What image comes to mind when you read the title of the story? __________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 3. Name several objects that are generally considered to bring good luck. ______ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 4. Name several objects that are generally considered to bring bad luck. ______ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 5. Do you believe that wishes can be granted? Why or why not? _____________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 6. What do you think is the most common wish people make? _______________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 7. If you could make three wishes, what would they be? Describe the wishes, and what you think would happen if they were granted. ____________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________

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THEMONKEY'SPAW(1902) byW.W.Jacobs I. WITHOUT,thenightwascoldandwet,butinthesmallparlourofLaburnamVillatheblinds weredrawnandthefireburnedbrightly.Fatherandsonwereatchess,theformer,whopossessed ideasaboutthegameinvolvingradicalchanges,puttinghiskingintosuchsharpandunnecessary perilsthatitevenprovokedcommentfromthewhitehairedoldladyknittingplacidlybythefire. "Harkatthewind,"saidMr.White,who,havingseenafatalmistakeafteritwastoolate,was amiablydesirousofpreventinghissonfromseeingit. "I'mlistening,"saidthelatter,grimlysurveyingtheboardashestretchedouthishand. "Check." "Ishouldhardlythinkthathe'dcometonight,"saidhisfather,withhishandpoisedoverthe board. "Mate,"repliedtheson. "That'stheworstoflivingsofarout,"bawledMr.White,withsuddenandunlookedfor violence;"ofallthebeastly,slushy,outofthewayplacestolivein,thisistheworst.Pathway'sa bog,andtheroad'satorrent.Idon'tknowwhatpeoplearethinkingabout.Isupposebecauseonly twohousesontheroadarelet,theythinkitdoesn'tmatter." "Nevermind,dear,"saidhiswifesoothingly;"perhapsyou'llwinthenextone." Mr.Whitelookedupsharply,justintimetointerceptaknowingglancebetweenmotherand son.Thewordsdiedawayonhislips,andhehidaguiltygrininhisthingreybeard. "Thereheis,"saidHerbertWhite,asthegatebangedtoloudlyandheavyfootstepscame towardthedoor. Theoldmanrosewithhospitablehaste,andopeningthedoor,washeardcondolingwiththe newarrival.Thenewarrivalalsocondoledwithhimself,sothatMrs.Whitesaid,"Tut,tut!"and coughedgentlyasherhusbandenteredtheroom,followedbyatallburlyman,beadyofeyeand rubicundofvisage. "SergeantMajorMorris,"hesaid,introducinghim. Thesergeantmajorshookhands,andtakingtheprofferedseatbythefire,watched contentedlywhilehishostgotoutwhiskyandtumblersandstoodasmallcopperkettleonthefire. Atthethirdglasshiseyesgotbrighter,andhebegantotalk,thelittlefamilycircleregarding witheagerinterestthisvisitorfromdistantparts,ashesquaredhisbroadshouldersinthechair andspokeofstrangescenesanddoughtydeeds;ofwarsandplaguesandstrangepeoples. "Twentyoneyearsofit,"saidMr.White,noddingathiswifeandson."Whenhewentaway hewasaslipofayouthinthewarehouse.Nowlookathim." "Hedon'tlooktohavetakenmuchharm,"saidMrs.White,politely. "I'dliketogotoIndiamyself,"saidtheoldman,"justtolookroundabit,youknow." "Betterwhereyouare,"saidthesergeantmajor,shakinghishead.Heputdowntheempty glass,andsighingsoftly,shookitagain. "Ishouldliketoseethoseoldtemplesandfakirsandjugglers,"saidtheoldman."Whatwas thatyoustartedtellingmetheotherdayaboutamonkey'spaworsomething,Morris?" "Nothing,"saidthesoldierhastily."Leastways,nothingworthhearing." "Monkey'spaw?"saidMrs.Whitecuriously. "Well,it'sjustabitofwhatyoumightcallmagic,perhaps,"saidthesergeantmajoroff handedly. Histhreelistenersleanedforwardeagerly.Thevisitorabsentmindedlyputhisemptyglass tohislipsandthensetitdownagain.Hishostfilleditforhim.

"Tolookat,"saidthesergeantmajor,fumblinginhispocket,"it'sjustanordinarylittlepaw, driedtoamummy." Hetooksomethingoutofhispocketandprofferedit.Mrs.Whitedrewbackwithagrimace, butherson,takingit,examineditcuriously. "Andwhatistherespecialaboutit?"inquiredMr.White,ashetookitfromhissonand, havingexaminedit,placedituponthetable. "Ithadaspellputonitbyanoldfakir,"saidthesergeantmajor,"averyholyman.He wantedtoshowthatfateruledpeople'slives,andthatthosewhointerferedwithitdidsototheir sorrow.Heputaspellonitsothatthreeseparatemencouldeachhavethreewishesfromit." Hismannerwassoimpressivethathishearerswereconsciousthattheirlightlaughter jarredsomewhat. "Well,whydon'tyouhavethree,sir?"saidHerbertWhitecleverly. Thesoldierregardedhiminthewaythatmiddleageiswonttoregardpresumptuousyouth. "Ihave,"hesaidquietly,andhisblotchyfacewhitened. "Anddidyoureallyhavethethreewishesgranted?"askedMrs.White. "Idid,"saidthesergeantmajor,andhisglasstappedagainsthisstrongteeth. "Andhasanybodyelsewished?"inquiredtheoldlady. "Thefirstmanhadhisthreewishes,yes,"wasthereply."Idon'tknowwhatthefirsttwo were,butthethirdwasfordeath.That'showIgotthepaw." Histonesweresogravethatahushfelluponthegroup. "Ifyou'vehadyourthreewishes,it'snogoodtoyounow,then,Morris,"saidtheoldmanat last."Whatdoyoukeepitfor?" Thesoldiershookhishead."Fancy,Isuppose,"hesaidslowly. "Ifyoucouldhaveanotherthreewishes,"saidtheoldman,eyeinghimkeenly,"wouldyou havethem?" "Idon'tknow,"saidtheother."Idon'tknow." Hetookthepaw,anddanglingitbetweenhisfrontfingerandthumb,suddenlythrewit uponthefire.White,withaslightcry,stoopeddownandsnatcheditoff. "Betterletitburn,"saidthesoldiersolemnly. "Ifyoudon'twantit,Morris,"saidtheoldman,"giveittome." "Iwon't,"saidhisfrienddoggedly."Ithrewitonthefire.Ifyoukeepit,don'tblamemefor whathappens.Pitchitonthefireagain,likeasensibleman." Theothershookhisheadandexaminedhisnewpossessionclosely."Howdoyoudoit?"he inquired. "Holditupinyourrighthandandwishaloud,'saidthesergeantmajor,"butIwarnyouof theconsequences." "SoundsliketheArabianNights,"saidMrs.White,assheroseandbegantosetthesupper. "Don'tyouthinkyoumightwishforfourpairsofhandsforme?" Herhusbanddrewthetalismanfromhispocketandthenallthreeburstintolaughterasthe sergeantmajor,withalookofalarmonhisface,caughthimbythearm. "Ifyoumustwish,"hesaidgruffly,"wishforsomethingsensible." Mr.Whitedroppeditbackintohispocket,andplacingchairs,motionedhisfriendtothe table.Inthebusinessofsupperthetalismanwaspartlyforgotten,andafterwardthethreesat listeninginanenthralledfashiontoasecondinstallmentofthesoldier'sadventuresinIndia. "Ifthetaleaboutthemonkeypawisnotmoretruthfulthanthosehehasbeentellingus," saidHerbert,asthedoorclosedbehindtheirguest,justintimeforhimtocatchthelasttrain,"we shan'tmakemuchoutofit." "Didyougivehimanythingforit,father?"inquiredMrs.White,regardingherhusband closely. "Atrifle,"saidhe,coloringslightly."Hedidn'twantit,butImadehimtakeit.Andhe pressedmeagaintothrowitaway."

"Likely,"saidHerbert,withpretendedhorror."Why,we'regoingtoberich,andfamous,and happy.Wishtobeanemperor,father,tobeginwith;thenyoucan'tbehenpecked." Hedartedroundthetable,pursuedbythemalignedMrs.Whitearmedwithan antimacassar. Mr.Whitetookthepawfromhispocketandeyeditdubiously."Idon'tknowwhattowish for,andthat'safact,"hesaidslowly."ItseemstomeI'vegotallIwant." "Ifyouonlyclearedthehouse,you'dbequitehappy,wouldn'tyou?"saidHerbert,withhis handonhisshoulder."Well,wishfortwohundredpounds,then;that'lljustdoit." Hisfather,smilingshamefacedlyathisowncredulity,heldupthetalisman,ashisson,with asolemnfacesomewhatmarredbyawinkathismother,satdownatthepianoandstruckafew impressivechords. "Iwishfortwohundredpounds,"saidtheoldmandistinctly. Afinecrashfromthepianogreetedthewords,interruptedbyashudderingcryfromtheold man.Hiswifeandsonrantowardhim. "Itmoved,hecried,withaglanceofdisgustattheobjectasitlayonthefloor."AsIwishedit twistedinmyhandslikeasnake." "Well,Idon'tseethemoney,"saidhisson,ashepickeditupandplaceditonthetable,"and IbetInevershall." "Itmusthavebeenyourfancy,father,"saidhiswife,regardinghimanxiously. Heshookhishead."Nevermind,though;there'snoharmdone,butitgavemeashockall thesame." Theysatdownbythefireagainwhilethetwomenfinishedtheirpipes.Outside,thewind washigherthanever,andtheoldmanstartednervouslyatthesoundofadoorbangingupstairs.A silenceunusualanddepressingsettleduponallthree,whichlasteduntiltheoldcoupleroseto retireforthenight. "Iexpectyou'llfindthecashtiedupinabigbaginthemiddleofyourbed,"saidHerbert,as hebadethemgoodnight,"andsomethinghorriblesquattingupontopofthewardrobewatching youasyoupocketyourillgottengains." Hesataloneinthedarkness,gazingatthedyingfire,andseeingfacesinit.Thelastfacewas sohorribleandsosimianthathegazedatitinamazement.Itgotsovividthat,withalittleuneasy laugh,hefeltonthetableforaglasscontainingalittlewatertothrowoverit.Hishandgraspedthe monkey'spaw,andwithalittleshiverhewipedhishandonhiscoatandwentuptobed. II. INthebrightnessofthewintrysunnextmorningasitstreamedoverthebreakfasttable Herbertlaughedathisfears.Therewasanairofprosaicwholesomenessabouttheroom,whichit hadlackedonthepreviousnight,andthedirty,shriveledlittlepawwaspitchedonthesideboard withacarelessnesswhichbetokenednogreatbeliefinitsvirtues. "Isupposealloldsoldiersarethesame,"saidMrs.White."Theideaofourlisteningtosuch nonsense!Howcouldwishesbegrantedinthesedays?Andiftheycould,howcouldtwohundred poundshurtyou,father?" "Mightdroponhisheadfromthesky,"saidthefrivolousHerbert. "Morrissaidthethingshappenedsonaturally,"saidhisfather,"thatyoumightifyouso wishedattributeittocoincidence." "Well,don'tbreakintothemoneybeforeIcomeback,"saidHerbert,asherosefromthe table."I'mafraidit'llturnyouintoamean,avariciousman,andweshallhavetodisownyou." Hismotherlaughed,andfollowinghimtothedoor,watchedhimdowntheroad,and returningtothebreakfasttable,wasveryhappyattheexpenseofherhusband'scredulity.Allof whichdidnotpreventherfromscurryingtothedooratthepostman'sknock,norpreventherfrom

referringsomewhatshortlytoretiredsergeantmajorsofbibuloushabitswhenshefoundthatthe postbroughtatailor'sbill. "Herbertwillhavesomemoreofhisfunnyremarks,Iexpect,whenhecomeshome,"she said,astheysatatdinner. "Idaresay,"saidMr.White,pouringhimselfoutsomebeer;"butforallthat,thething movedinmyhand;thatI'llswearto." "Youthoughtitdid,"saidtheoldladysoothingly. "Isayitdid,"repliedtheother."Therewasnothoughtaboutit;IhadjustWhat'sthe matter?" Hiswifemadenoreply.Shewaswatchingthemysteriousmovementsofamanoutside, who,peeringinanundecidedfashionatthehouse,appearedtobetryingtomakeuphismindto enter.Inmentalconnectionwiththetwohundredpounds,shenoticedthatthestrangerwaswell dressedandworeasilkhatofglossynewness.Threetimeshepausedatthegate,andthenwalked onagain.Thefourthtimehestoodwithhishanduponit,andthenwithsuddenresolutionflungit openandwalkedupthepath.Mrs.Whiteatthesamemomentplacedherhandsbehindher,and hurriedlyunfasteningthestringsofherapron,putthatusefularticleofapparelbeneaththecushion ofherchair. Shebroughtthestranger,whoseemedillatease,intotheroom.Hegazedatherfurtively, andlistenedinapreoccupiedfashionastheoldladyapologizedfortheappearanceoftheroom,and herhusband'scoat,agarmentwhichheusuallyreservedforthegarden.Shethenwaitedas patientlyashersexwouldpermit,forhimtobroachhisbusiness,buthewasatfirststrangelysilent. "Iwasaskedtocall,"hesaidatlast,andstoopedandpickedapieceofcottonfromhis trousers."IcomefromMawandMeggins." Theoldladystarted."Isanythingthematter?"sheaskedbreathlessly."Hasanything happenedtoHerbert?Whatisit?Whatisit?" Herhusbandinterposed."There,there,mother,"hesaidhastily."Sitdown,anddon'tjump toconclusions.You'venotbroughtbadnews,I'msure,sir"andheeyedtheotherwistfully. "I'msorry"beganthevisitor. "Ishehurt?"demandedthemother. Thevisitorbowedinassent."Badlyhurt,"hesaidquietly,"butheisnotinanypain." "Oh,thankGod!"saidtheoldwoman,claspingherhands."ThankGodforthat!Thank" Shebrokeoffsuddenlyasthesinistermeaningoftheassurancedawneduponherandshe sawtheawfulconfirmationofherfearsintheother'savertedface.Shecaughtherbreath,and turningtoherslowerwittedhusband,laidhertremblingoldhanduponhis.Therewasalong silence. "Hewascaughtinthemachinery,"saidthevisitoratlength,inalowvoice. "Caughtinthemachinery,"repeatedMr.White,inadazedfashion,"yes." Hesatstaringblanklyoutatthewindow,andtakinghiswife'shandbetweenhisown, presseditashehadbeenwonttodointheiroldcourtingdaysnearlyfortyyearsbefore. "Hewastheonlyonelefttous,"hesaid,turninggentlytothevisitor."Itishard." Theothercoughed,andrising,walkedslowlytothewindow."Thefirmwishedmeto conveytheirsinceresympathywithyouinyourgreatloss,"hesaid,withoutlookinground."Ibeg thatyouwillunderstandIamonlytheirservantandmerelyobeyingorders." Therewasnoreply;theoldwoman'sfacewaswhite,hereyesstaring,andherbreath inaudible;onthehusband'sfacewasalooksuchashisfriendthesergeantmighthavecarriedinto hisfirstaction. "IwastosaythatMawandMegginsdisclaimallresponsibility,"continuedtheother."They admitnoliabilityatall,butinconsiderationofyourson'sservicestheywishtopresentyouwitha certainsumascompensation." Mr.Whitedroppedhiswife'shand,andrisingtohisfeet,gazedwithalookofhorrorathis visitor.Hisdrylipsshapedthewords,"Howmuch?"

"Twohundredpounds,"wastheanswer. Unconsciousofhiswife'sshriek,theoldmansmiledfaintly,putouthishandslikea sightlessman,anddropped,asenselessheap,tothefloor. III. INthehugenewcemetery,sometwomilesdistant,theoldpeopleburiedtheirdead,and camebacktoahousesteepedinshadowandsilence.Itwasalloversoquicklythatatfirstthey couldhardlyrealizeit,andremainedinastateofexpectationasthoughofsomethingelseto happensomethingelsewhichwastolightenthisload,tooheavyforoldheartstobear. Butthedayspassed,andexpectationgaveplacetoresignationthehopelessresignationof theold,sometimesmiscalled,apathy.Sometimestheyhardlyexchangedaword,fornowtheyhad nothingtotalkabout,andtheirdayswerelongtoweariness. Itwasaboutaweekafterthatthattheoldman,wakingsuddenlyinthenight,stretchedout hishandandfoundhimselfalone.Theroomwasindarkness,andthesoundofsubduedweeping camefromthewindow.Heraisedhimselfinbedandlistened. "Comeback,"hesaidtenderly."Youwillbecold." "Itiscolderformyson,"saidtheoldwoman,andweptafresh. Thesoundofhersobsdiedawayonhisears.Thebedwaswarm,andhiseyesheavywith sleep.Hedozedfitfully,andthensleptuntilasuddenwildcryfromhiswifeawokehimwithastart. "Thepaw!"shecriedwildly."Themonkey'spaw!" Hestartedupinalarm."Where?Whereisit?What'sthematter?" Shecamestumblingacrosstheroomtowardhim."Iwantit,"shesaidquietly."You'venot destroyedit?" "It'sintheparlour,onthebracket,"hereplied,marveling."Why?" Shecriedandlaughedtogether,andbendingover,kissedhischeek. "Ionlyjustthoughtofit,"shesaidhysterically."Whydidn'tIthinkofitbefore?Whydidn't youthinkofit?" "Thinkofwhat?"hequestioned. "Theothertwowishes,"sherepliedrapidly."We'veonlyhadone." "Wasnotthatenough?"hedemandedfiercely. "No,"shecried,triumphantly;"we'llhaveonemore.Godownandgetitquickly,andwish ourboyaliveagain." Themansatupinbedandflungthebedclothesfromhisquakinglimbs."GoodGod,youare mad!"hecriedaghast. "Getit,"shepanted;"getitquickly,andwishOh,myboy,myboy!" Herhusbandstruckamatchandlitthecandle."Getbacktobed,"hesaid,unsteadily."You don'tknowwhatyouaresaying." "Wehadthefirstwishgranted,"saidtheoldwoman,feverishly;"whynotthesecond." "Acoincidence,"stammeredtheoldman. "Goandgetitandwish,"criedtheoldwoman,quiveringwithexcitement. Theoldmanturnedandregardedher,andhisvoiceshook."Hehasbeendeadtendays,and besidesheIwouldnottellyouelse,butIcouldonlyrecognizehimbyhisclothing.Ifhewastoo terribleforyoutoseethen,hownow?" "Bringhimback,"criedtheoldwoman,anddraggedhimtowardthedoor."DoyouthinkI fearthechildIhavenursed?" Hewentdowninthedarkness,andfelthiswaytotheparlour,andthentothemantelpiece. Thetalismanwasinitsplace,andahorriblefearthattheunspokenwishmightbringhismutilated sonbeforehimerehecouldescapefromtheroomseizeduponhim,andhecaughthisbreathashe foundthathehadlostthedirectionofthedoor.Hisbrowcoldwithsweat,hefelthiswayroundthe

table,andgropedalongthewalluntilhefoundhimselfinthesmallpassagewiththeunwholesome thinginhishand. Evenhiswife'sfaceseemedchangedasheenteredtheroom.Itwaswhiteandexpectant, andtohisfearsseemedtohaveanunnaturallookuponit.Hewasafraidofher. "Wish!"shecried,inastrongvoice. "Itisfoolishandwicked,"hefaltered. "Wish!"repeatedhiswife. Heraisedhishand."Iwishmysonaliveagain." Thetalismanfelltothefloor,andheregardeditfearfully.Thenhesanktremblingintoa chairastheoldwoman,withburningeyes,walkedtothewindowandraisedtheblind. Hesatuntilhewaschilledwiththecold,glancingoccasionallyatthefigureoftheold womanpeeringthroughthewindow.Thecandleend,whichhadburntbelowtherimofthechina candlestick,wasthrowingpulsatingshadowsontheceilingandwalls,until,withaflickerlarger thantherest,itexpired.Theoldman,withanunspeakablesenseofreliefatthefailureofthe talisman,creptbacktohisbed,andaminuteortwoafterwardtheoldwomancamesilentlyand apatheticallybesidehim. Neitherspoke,butbothlaysilentlylisteningtothetickingoftheclock.Astaircreaked,and asqueakymousescurriednoisilythroughthewall.Thedarknesswasoppressive,andafterlyingfor sometimescrewinguphiscourage,thehusbandtooktheboxofmatches,andstrikingone,went downstairsforacandle. Atthefootofthestairsthematchwentout,andhepausedtostrikeanother,andatthe samemomentaknock,soquietandstealthyastobescarcelyaudible,soundedonthefrontdoor. Thematchesfellfromhishand.Hestoodmotionless,hisbreathsuspendeduntiltheknock wasrepeated.Thenheturnedandfledswiftlybacktohisroom,andclosedthedoorbehindhim.A thirdknocksoundedthroughthehouse. "What'sthat?"criedtheoldwoman,startingup. "Arat,"saidtheoldman,inshakingtones"arat.Itpassedmeonthestairs." Hiswifesatupinbedlistening.Aloudknockresoundedthroughthehouse. "It'sHerbert!"shescreamed."It'sHerbert!" Sherantothedoor,butherhusbandwasbeforeher,andcatchingherbythearm,heldher tightly. "Whatareyougoingtodo?"hewhisperedhoarsely. "It'smyboy;it'sHerbert!"shecried,strugglingmechanically."Iforgotitwastwomiles away.Whatareyouholdingmefor?Letgo.Imustopenthedoor." "ForGod'ssake,don'tletitin,"criedtheoldmantrembling. "You'reafraidofyourownson,"shecried,struggling."Letmego.I'mcoming,Herbert;I'm coming." Therewasanotherknock,andanother.Theoldwomanwithasuddenwrenchbrokefree andranfromtheroom.Herhusbandfollowedtothelanding,andcalledafterherappealinglyasshe hurrieddownstairs.Heheardthechainrattlebackandthebottomboltdrawnslowlyandstiffly fromthesocket.Thentheoldwoman'svoice,strainedandpanting. "Thebolt,"shecriedloudly."Comedown.Ican'treachit." Butherhusbandwasonhishandsandkneesgropingwildlyonthefloorinsearchofthe paw.Ifhecouldonlyfinditbeforethethingoutsidegotin.Aperfectfusilladeofknocks reverberatedthroughthehouse,andheheardthescrapingofachairashiswifeputitdowninthe passageagainstthedoor.Heheardthecreakingoftheboltasitcameslowlyback,andatthesame momenthefoundthemonkey'spaw,andfranticallybreathedhisthirdandlastwish. Theknockingceasedsuddenly,althoughtheechoesofitwerestillinthehouse.Heheard thechairdrawnbackandthedooropened.Acoldwindrushedupthestaircase,andalongloud wailofdisappointmentandmiseryfromhiswifegavehimcouragetorundowntoherside,and thentothegatebeyond.Thestreetlampflickeringoppositeshone on a quiet and deserted road.

Name ________________________________________ Date ______________

"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs

Organizing Your Thoughts As You Read

1. What is the first clue that the monkey's paw is not a good thing? __________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 2. What is the second clue that something is not right about the paw? ________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 3. What is ironic about the wish? (Something is ironic when the thing that

happens is the exact opposite from what you had expected.) _______________

_________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 4. Why does the mother think the second wish will make everything alright? _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 5. Why is the father afraid to make the second wish? __________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 6. What do you think the third wish was? Why do you think this? _____________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 7. The story begins with the anonymous quote, "Be careful what you wish for...". How does this story illustrate the need for caution in wishing? _______________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________

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Name ________________________________________ Date ______________

"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs

Chain Reaction

The Monkey's Paw is the story of a problem the characters face after making a fateful decision. Instead of solving the problem, the solutions they find only make it worse. Use complete sentences to fill out the diagram below, and create a map of the story.

Fateful decision

Problem Caused

Solution

Problem(s) Caused by Solution

Final Result

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Name ________________________________________ Date ______________

"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs

Comprehension

Use complete sentences to answer the following questions. Knowledge: 1. How would you describe the monkey's paw?

Comprehension: 1. Which facts or incidents indicate that the monkey's paw was a "bad" thing or should have been thrown away?

2. What were the warning signs that something bad was going to happen?

Application:

1. What techniques does the author use to create suspense? Describe each incident.

Analysis:

1. Why do you think that the colonel, knowing what he does, still offers or shows the paw to the family?

Synthesis:

1. What would have happened if the father had not made a wish?

Evaluation:

1. What would you recommend the Whites do with the paw?

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Name ________________________________________ Date ______________

"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs

"Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it!" In The Monkey's Paw, the characters found their wishes coming true in unexpected and unpleasant ways. Look over the following list of common wishes. Complete the chart, showing the possible positive and negative outcomes of each wish. Then, in the final column, see if you can phrase your wish so that all the negative effects are ruled out.

After You Read

Wish

Positive Effects

Negative Effects

"Ideal" Wish

Money

World Peace

Live Forever

No Pollution

Intelligence

Beauty

Athletic Abilities

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Name ________________________________________ Date ______________

"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs

Creative Interpretation

Choose one of the activities below. Work with a partner to complete the task. If you like, you may continue your work on a larger piece of paper. 1. Create a "WANTED" poster for the monkey's paw. Include an illustration of the suspect, and a description of its crimes. List any warnings, and advice on what to do for people who come across it.

2.Design an object that can be used to grant wishes. Include a detailed illustration of the wish-granting object, labeling any important elements. State the rules of the wishing process, and any rules for the wishes themselves. Include warning labels.

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Name ________________________________________ Date ______________

"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs

Reading Between the Lines

I. Complete the chart by organizing the elements from the story into the appropriate categories. A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. Stated 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

The Monkey's Paw being a story about a man who wished on the paw The content of Mr. White's third wish The content of Sergeant Morris's warning Movement of the paw when wished upon The content of Mr. White's first wish The content of Mr. White's second wish The reasons that Mr. White didn't want his son to appear from the grave The idea that nothing bad would have happened if the Whites had not made a wish

Inferred 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

II. Decide whether each sentence is an example of foreshadowing in the story or whether it is irrelevant to the situation at hand. Write "F" or "I" on the line next to the statement. ______ 1. The Whites liked to play chess during the evening. ______ 2. The monkey paw's previous owner wished for death as his third wish. ______ 3. The son Herbert worked at a machine factory. ______ 4. Wished could be made on a monkey's paw. ______ 5. The paw moved when Mr. White made his wish. ______ 6. The story took place during the 1800s. ______ 7. Herbert was an only child. ______ 8. Herbert jokes that he didn't see the money and probably never would. ______ 9. The sergeant panics when the father tells the mother to wish for four pairs of hands. ______ 10. The sergeant tells the family to throw it into the fire and let it burn. ______ 11. Mr. White doesn't realize his mistake in chess until it is too late. ______ 12. The sergeant and Mr. White have not seen each other in a while.

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Name ________________________________________ Date ______________

"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs

Suspense in Literature

The author, W.W. Jacobs, uses many different suspense techniques in The Monkey's Paw. Match the element of the story with the literary technique used.

unusual characters unusual setting

foreshadowing unusual situation

dilemma ironic devices dramatic actions

withholding information (keeps you wondering) cliffhanger (leaves you guessing at the end)

_____________

1.

The story begins with the line, "Without, the night was cold and wet." Herbert says that he doesn't see the money and he bets he never will. The story does not show who is knocking at the door or give the reason the father does not want his son to come back. The son comes back from the dead. The story deals with a monkey's paw that can be used to make wishes. The father is forced to decide between pleasing his wife or sending his son back to his grave. The wish comes true but in a very tragic way When the mother hears the knocking, she rushes to the door. The father tries to find the paw, the mother can't get the door open, the wish is made, and then there is silence. The story ends with nothing at the door and an eerie quietness all around.

_____________

2.

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3.

_____________ _____________

4. 5.

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6.

_____________ _____________

7. 8.

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9.

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