The Monkey’s Paw
by William Wymark Jacobs
Answers for all the questions from the lesson ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ included in the CHSE +2 book ‘Invitation to English – 2’.
Think it out
1. Describe the weather and its influence on the theme.
Answer – The weather was cyclonic with strong winds and heavy downpour. The scene looked quite eerie.
2. What was special about the monkey’s paw?
Answer – The monkey’s paw was the dried-up remains of a monkey of exotic origin. It was believed to have magical powers.
3. How did the first owner of the monkey’s paw use it?
Answer – The first owner sought fulfillment of his wishes, but after he was rewarded twice, he sought his death as the third and last one. He died soon after.
4. Why couldn’t Morris sell the monkey’s paw?
Answer – Moris had suffered a good deal trying to benefit from the monkey’s paw, and he didn’t one anyone else to suffer like him. Besides this, no one would buy it until they were convinced about its professed powers.
5. How did the Whites get the monkey’s paw?
Answer – Moris deliberately left the paw behind in the Whites’ home, as Hebert and his father were curious to try out its magical powers.
6. How does Morris describe the monkey’s paw?
Answer – Moris goes into the intriguing origin of the monkey’s paw with some sketchy detail. He narrates how its earlier owner willingly met his death, thanks to the magical powers of the paw. Moris says how the paw can grant any three wishes to whoever owns it and seeks it. On the whole, Moris portrays the paw as a quixotic and awesome object of unknown origin
7. What did Morris say about how to use the monkey’s paw? What was his warning to the Whites?
Answer – Moris stated that the paw could grant three wishes to the seeker, but it can be quite dangerous too. So, the favour-seeker must be very discrete while seeking favours from it. Its powers were more evil than benign.
9. What was the first wish? How was it made?
Answer – The first wish was for two hundred pounds, but it seems, the money never came in.
10. Compare Mr. White’s and Herbert’s attitudes toward the monkey’s paw. Why was it logical that Herbert would be the victim of the first wish?
Answer – Mr. White was skeptical about the paw’s agical powers. So, he didn’t quite buy Moris’s description of the power of the aw. On the contrary, Hebert was somewhat adventurous and inquisitive. Out of curiosity, he wanted to try it out by making a request for two hundred pounds.
Scene – 2
11. What was the effect of the first wish?
Answer – Herbert wanted two hundred pounds, and he got it, although posthumously. It was a a very devastating blow to his parents to learn that their son Herbert had died being squeezed in a machine in a factory where he worked. Mrs. and Mr. White could clearly establish a relation between the monkey’s Paw, Herbert’s desire for two hundred pounds that seemed to tease the paw, and his cuel and untimely death.
Scene – 3
12. Why didn’t Mr. White want to make the second wish?
Answer – Mr. White knew the paw had already caused enough disaster to his family, and he didn’t want any more contact with it. He knew, Herbert had been reduced to a pulp in the factory’s machine, and expecting it to return in flesh and bone was an absurd idea. So, he didn’t want to make a second wish.
13. “Bring him back! Do you think I would fear my own son?” Why does Mrs. White say so?
Answer – When Mr. White hesitated to make the second wish and ask for his dead son to return alive, Mrs. White, being a mother, was not satisfied at all. Even after her husband said that the remains of their son would make a grizzly sight, she was not the least mollified. She said that she would be happy to see her son in whatever form possible.
14. What was the final wish?
Answer – The Whites wanted their son back, alive. This was their second and final wish.
15. Did the Whites get what they really wanted? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer – The Whites didn’t get what they wanted. Herbert didn’t return alive, and the to hundred pounds they got came at a terrible cost.
16. What role did the author want the monkey’s paw to play here?
Answer – The author wanted to create a plot of suspense and intrigue. He wanted to scare the readers by giving a strange twist to the story.
17. What did the holy man want to prove to people by putting the spell on the paw?
Answer – Perhaps, the holy man wanted people not to believe in superstitions to solve their worldly problems. He demonstrated it by portraying the paw as a very hideous object with potentially damaging powers.
18. In your opinion, did the holy man make his point? Why or why not?
Answer – Yes, the holy man succeeded in warning the people about resorting to witchcraft and similar quick-fix solutions to satisfy worldly desires. The fate the Whites suffered at the hands of the paw is a good lesson for the readers of the story.
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