Monkey's Paw Literary Devices Essay

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Every year, people blow out the candles and make a wish on their birthday cake. However, no one expects a wish to really change their life. A wish tears a family apart in The Monkey's Paw by WW Jacobs when Mr. White, the main character, develops a sudden desire for more despite warnings. Jacobs argues in The Monkey's Paw that interfering with fate can lead to disastrous consequences using foreshadowing and frightening mood and he also uses irony to show that listening to experienced people should overpower desire. Jacobs uses foreshadowing to prove that trying to change fate can bring disastrous consequences. Early in the story, Jacobs describes Mr. White making “a fatal mistake” (1) while playing chess with his son Herbert. Also while playing chess, Mr. White is said to be making “sharp and unnecessary perils” (1). Here, Jacobs uses death-related diction to foreshadow terrible events like the death of Herbert caused by Mr. White's desire to alter his destiny. Later, after Mr White stops the sergeant from burning the monkey's paw, the sergeant warn Mr. White to “let it burn” (3). Mr White doesn't pick up on the warning the sergeant is giving which leads his family to destructive downfall. Through foreshadowing, Jacobs shows that destruction will occur when fate is tampered with. Throughout the entire story, frightening mood is used to argue that changing fate will cause grief. When the sergeant was asked about his wishes, “his blotchy white face whitens” (3) and when the family begins to joke about his story, the sergeant gets “a look of alarm on his face” (3). The sergeants frightening facial expressions create an eerie mood which signals the uncorrectable mistake the White family made by changing their fate with the monkey's paw. Later that night after Mr. White makes his wish, the weather becomes destructive when “the wind gets high than ever” (5). The

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