The Monkey’s Paw
Short Story by W.W. Jacobs
Introducing the Short Story
Literary Analysis: Mood
Reading Skill: Identify Type of
Narrator
Vocabulary in Context
The Monkey’s Paw
INTRODUCING THE SHORT STORY
Are you SUPERSTITIOUS?
Many people say they aren’t
superstitious.
But those same people might
own a lucky charm or get
nervous on Friday the 13th.
The Monkey’s Paw
INTRODUCING THE SHORT STORY
Are you SUPERSTITIOUS?
Usually these superstitions are harmless, but sometimes they can
interfere with a person’s life.
In the selection you are about to read, curiosity about the power
of an unusual object brings unexpected consequences.
The Monkey’s Paw
INTRODUCING THE SHORT STORY
Are you SUPERSTITIOUS?
DISCUSS
What kind of superstitious
behavior do you or people
you know believe in?
In a small group, brainstorm
a list of common
superstitions.
Then discuss which you
think are harmless, and
which might cause
problems or interfere with
someone’s life. Share your
findings with the class.
The Monkey’s Paw
Mood
Mood is the feeling or atmosphere
the writer creates for the reader.
There are as many
moods as there are
emotions—cheerful,
gloomy, anxious.
The Monkey’s Paw
Mood
Writers create mood through
• the choice of setting, including
time and place
• imagery—descriptions that appeal
to the reader’s senses
• conversations between characters
As you read “The Monkey’s Paw,” notice how the story makes
you feel and which words or passages make you feel that way.
The Monkey’s Paw
Identify Type of Narrator
You have learned that a narrator
is the voice that tells a story.
A third-person narrator is not
a character in the story, but,
rather, an outside voice.
Now you will learn that a third-person
narrator may be objective or subjective.
The Monkey’s Paw
Identify Type of Narrator
An objective narrator
reports events in a factual
way, without sharing any
characters’ hidden thoughts
or feelings.
A subjective narrator
recounts events with a
character’s thoughts,
feelings, and observations.
The Monkey’s Paw
Identify Type of Narrator
As you read “The Monkey’s Paw,” try to determine whether it is
told by an objective narrator or a subjective one. Use a chart like
the one shown below to record the narrator’s observations.
Event
Narrator’s Description
The Monkey’s Paw
W. W. Jacobs
(1863-1943)
Although W.W. Jacobs wrote
mostly comic stories, he is
best-known for his horrifying
tale The Monkey’s Paw.
Jacobs grew up among sailors
and dock-workers on the
banks of the Thames River in
London where he set many of
his humorous stories. As an
adult, he worked as a bank
clerk, a job that bored him, and
he wrote in his spare time. He
worked at the bank for nearly
twenty years before he was
able to quit and earn his living
as a full-time writer.
Jacobs wrote dozens of short
story collections and a number
of plays. The Monkey’s Paw
was first published in 1902.
The Monkey’s Paw
BEFORE
READING
Read the title and peruse the story. Make a
prediction based on what you see as to what the story might be
about.
The Monkey’s Paw
• If you had three wishes what would they
be? Write your three wishes.
The Monkey’s Paw
• Trade with the person to your right
You are an evil genie Grant the first wish, but be
as mischievous as possible. You
must grant the wish but you don’t
want them to like what they get
The Monkey’s Paw
• Trade with the person to your right
You are an evil genie Grant the second wish, but
be as mischievous as possible.
You must grant the wish but you
don’t want them to like what they
get
The Monkey’s Paw
• Get your paper back. Read how your wish
was granted. Do you still want your third
wish?
The Monkey’s Paw
compensation n. something, such as money, received as
payment
credulity n. a disposition to believe too readily
fate n. a power that is thought to determine the course of
events
grimace n. a facial expression of pain or disgust
peril n. danger
resignation n. acceptance of something that is inescapable