The Monkey's Paw | Study Guide

W. W. Jacobs

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "The Monkey's Paw Study Guide." Course Hero. 19 July 2019. Web. 14 Aug. 2022. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2019, July 19). The Monkey's Paw Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved August 14, 2022, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "The Monkey's Paw Study Guide." July 19, 2019. Accessed August 14, 2022.


Course Hero, "The Monkey's Paw Study Guide," July 19, 2019, accessed August 14, 2022,

The Monkey's Paw | Character Analysis


Mr. White

Mr. White is an elderly Englishman. He and his wife have been married for 40 years. They used to have several children but only have one child still alive. Mr. White is largely content with his modest life in a small home a long walk from the rest of the village. However, he is eager to learn about Sergeant-Major Morris's adventures in exotic India. At the start of the story his judgment is limited: he makes risky moves when playing his son in chess, and loses as a result. Mr. White cares intensely about his son and wife. This leads him to wish first for his son to come back from the dead and then, more strikingly, to wish for the undead thing at his door to go away. In the end he shows both bravery and good judgment by doing so.

Mrs. White

Mrs. White is an older woman; she and Mr. White have been married for 40 years. When the story opens, she is quietly knitting while her son and husband play chess. She plays a supporting role in the early scenes: she encourages her husband when he loses at chess, makes bridging comments to lure Morris further into his story, and asks Morris directly if he got his three wishes from the paw. After the Whites own the paw and Morris has left, Mrs. White shifts to the forefront, speaking more openly and dismissing Morris's claims. After Herbert's death she reverses her stance on the paw's magic, claiming it could resolve her tragedy and return her son to life. Her emotions and efforts to open the door to let her son in drive much of Part 3.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about The Monkey's Paw? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!