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					“The Monkey’s Paw”
  by W.W. Jacobs
Author and Context Notes
              Author Notes

   W. W. Jacobs,
    the author of
    “The Monkey’s
    Paw” was born in
    London, England
    in 1863. He died
    in 1943 at the
    age of 80.
             Author Notes
 When he was young, he listened to tales
  told by sailors he met at his dockside
  house where he lived with his father.
 These were stories about everyday life
  disrupted by strange and fantastic events.
             Author Notes
 “The Monkey’s Paw is his most famous
  tale of suspense and the supernatural.
 It was first published in 1902 and made
  into a one-act play a year later.
            Culture / Context
   One of the major motifs in the story is
    that of FATE – a force that determines the
    outcome of events before they occur.
              Culture / Context
   Ancient Greeks and
    Romans worshiped
    fate in the form of the
    3 Fates who wove
    human destiny
    – Clotho: Spins the
      thread of life
    – Lachesis: measures
      the thread of life
    – Atropos: cuts the
      thread of life
            Culture / Context
   The theme of wishing found in “The
    Monkey’s Paw” is very common in the
    folklore of different cultures.
            Culture / Context
   In a Jewish folk tale from Eastern Europe,
    a man is helped by a magical wishing ring,
    but nearly dies when he reveals this to
    others.
            Culture / Context
   An Ancient Chinese
    tale tells of the
    Mother Heaven who
    tries to grant
    everyone’s wish, but
    who only causes
    problems.
              Culture / Context
   In Middle Eastern cultures, Djinn (commonly
    called Genies) assist or cause mischief through
    the granting of wishes. A famous example of
    this is the tale of Aladdin, from The Thousand
    and One Arabian Nights.
    Literary Focus: Foreshadowing
   In foreshadowing, writers give clues to the
    outcomes of the stories they write before
    the events play out later in the plot.
    Literary Focus: Foreshadowing
   Practice your foreshadowing detective
    skills by paying close attention to the story
    told by the Sergeant Major at the outset of
    the story. Important clues are given well
    before the conclusion of the story.

				
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