Literary Conflict in The Monkey's Paw

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The Monkey's Paw Lesson Plans

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

Lesson Plans by Kristy Littlehale

“The Monkey’s Paw” examines how one man’s curiosity and desire to have more than he needs results in disastrous ramifications. Many students will already be familiar with similar wishing traditions, such as wishing upon a star, a birthday wish, or throwing a coin into a fountain.

Monkey's Paw, The

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The Monkey's Paw Literary Conflict

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  • MAN vs MAN
  • Sergeant Major Morris knows that the paw brings mischief, so he throws it into the fire. Mr. White, however, wants to try his luck with the paw so he saves it, in spite of Morris’ insistence to let it burn.
  • MAN vs SELF
  • While Mr. White knows the dangers of the paw, he risks it to get his son back. However, when he hears the ominous knocking on the door, he knows that his wish has been granted in a twisted way. Despite the fact that his son could potentially be outside, he wishes for his son to be dead again.
  • When Mr. White makes his wish on the paw, he is interfering with the way that things are supposed to be. Because of his interference with fate, he is punished by losing his son and then having him brought back to life in a zombie-like state.
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