The theme of The Monkey's Paw is to be careful what you wish for.
In the beginning, the father and son are playing chess and the father shows that he likes to take risks.
The paw was thrown in the fire because it was said to be dangerous, but the risk-taking father reaches in the fire and grabs the paw without thinking of the future consequences. Herbert didn't believe that the paw had wishes to it, so his father wishes for 200 pounds.
After the wish was made, Herbert said he didn't see the money and he bet he never would. After that night, Mrs. White has a surprise visitor, who informs her that Herbert has died.
Herbert is dead....
The mother is too sad about her son and urges the father to wish him back but when the father refuses, Mrs. White takes matters into her own hands and wishes it herself.
I wish my son back!
In the end, the mother rushes to open the door, hoping to find her son, but the father wished to undo her wish, and she opens the door to find nothing.