FACTOID # 19: Cheap sloppy joes: Looking for reduced-price lunches for schoolchildren? Head for Oklahoma!
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 


FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:



(* = Graphable)



Encyclopedia > The Monkey's Paw
"The Monkey's Paw"
Author W. W. Jacobs
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre(s) Horror, Short story
Publication date 1902

"The Monkey's Paw" is a horror short story by author W. W. Jacobs. It was published in England in 1902. William Wymark Jacobs (September 8, 1863 – September 1, 1943), was an English author of short stories and novels. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... “Horror story” redirects here. ... This article is in need of attention. ... Year 1902 (MCMII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... “Horror story” redirects here. ... This article is in need of attention. ... William Wymark Jacobs (September 8, 1863 – September 1, 1943), was an English author of short stories and novels. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ...

The story is based on traditional stories in which three wishes are granted. In the story, the paw of a dead monkey is a talisman that grants its possessor three wishes, but the wishes come with an enormous price. In fiction a wish is a supernatural gift granting the recipients unlimited request. ... A dogs paw resting on a hard concrete surface. ... Approximate worldwide distribution of monkeys. ... An amulet from the Black Pullet grimoire. ...


Plot summary

Heedless of the Sergeant Major's warnings about the cursed nature of the paw, Mr. White, encouraged by his son, Herbert, carelessly asks for £200 for the house payment. His wish is granted, but in a horrific manner: he receives a payment of £200 compensation as the result of the death of his son, who is "caught in the machinery" and mangled at his workplace.

Following their son's funeral, the Whites settle into a dull and depressed existence. One night, Mrs. White is seized by a sudden idea and tries to convince her husband to wish their son back to life. At first he refuses, telling his wife, "You don't know what you are saying....He has been dead ten days." He allows himself to be swayed and wishes his son back to life. Nothing happens, and the couple, crushed by the disappointment, retire to bed.

Later, they are shocked to hear a knocking at the door, whereupon the wife realises that Herbert had to journey two miles from the cemetery to their house, accounting for the delay. She rushes downstairs to open the door, nearly hysterical with joy. Mr. White, meanwhile, has been seized by terror, recognizing the horrible creature that must wait upon their doorstep - unlike his wife, he had seen the grotesquely mutilated body prior to its burial, and was able to identify it only by the clothing.

Desperately groping for the cursed paw, he makes a third wish, and the knocking at the door ceases. Responding to his wife's cry of disappointment, he staggers downstairs to join her, looking out at the empty street.

Literary basis/analysis

The theme of the story resembles the Faust stories, in which there is no way to craft a wish finely enough to prevent the Devil from thwarting the wisher. A milder version is the many variants of the three wishes joke. For other uses, see Faust (disambiguation). ... This is an overview of the Devil. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

The story is standard fare for middle and early high schoolers, where textbooks typically use the story to teach literary elements such as setting, plot, or irony.

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

A great number of novels, stories, movies and plays are variations of the story or have similar plots, involving wishes that go awry in macabre ways. The original story has been filmed a number of times. The following is only a partial list:

Adaptations of the story

  • A one-act play was first performed in 1907.
  • There were numerous film adaptations in the silent era, as well as a 1933 talkie co-directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack, which is now a lost film.
  • Michael Scott directed and starred in a short film version.
  • Short film directed by James Henschen in 2003. Tribalfilm

Ernest B. Schoedsack (June 8, 1893 - December 23, 1979) is probably best remembered for being the co-director of the 1933 film, King Kong. ... Lost film is a term used to describe any feature film that no longer exists in either studio archives or private collections. ... Michael Dorkman Scott (born March 26, 1983) is a Los Angeles, CA-based independent filmmaker, best known for his visual effects work in Star Wars-related films Ryan vs. ...

Similar stories

  • "The Monkey's Paw" shares its plot device with the 1831 novel La Peau de chagrin by Honoré de Balzac. That story features a talisman (skin of a wild ass) obtained at a curiosity shop, imbued with corrupt magic capable of granting wishes. The talisman shrinks when used. Once the entire talisman is used up, the owner must die.
  • In an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawn makes a pact with a demon that grants her a wish. She wishes for her dead mother to return to life, with results very similar to the story.
  • On the TV series, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, the episode, "The Tale of the Twisted Claw", is heavily based on the Monkey's Paw.
  • In the manga xxxHolic, a teaching student buys the monkey's paw from the character Yuuko, even though she is advised against it. Unlike other adaptions, the student is aware of the paw's notoriety as something evil and dangerous, but she remains confident her exceptional luck will keep her from harm until it's too late.
  • In the Japanese TV drama Nobuta wo Produce, with the monkey's paw, Nobuta wished for Bando to disappear from the world. However once she saw that Shunji's wish came true, she asked for her wish to be canceled.
  • In the 1972 horror movie Tales from the Crypt, the segment Wish You Were Here is a story about a financially troubled couple who make three wishes on a oriental statue with similar dire consequences. The tales of the Monkey's Paw is also directly referenced by one of the main characters in this segment.

La Peau de chagrin (1831) is a philosophical fantasy novel by Honoré de Balzac. ... Balzac redirects here. ... For other uses, see Buffy the Vampire Slayer (disambiguation). ... For the Sidney Sheldon novel, see Are You Afraid of the Dark? (novel). ... This article is about the comics published in East Asian countries. ... Serialized in Weekly Young Magazine Original run February 24, 2003 – No. ... Nobuta wo Produce (野ブタ。をプロデュース) is a Japanese drama series, produced and aired in 2005 by NTV. The television show is based on the book 野ブタ。をプロデュース by Shiraiwa Gen (ISBN 4-309-01683-9). ... Tales from the Crypt can refer to: the television series Tales from the Crypt the film Tales from the Crypt the comic book Tales from the Crypt, published by EC Comics during the 1950s. ... Wish You Were Here is the name of: Wish You Were Here (album), a 1975 album by Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here (1975 song), a song included in that album Wish You Were Here (Rednex song), a song by Rednex Wish You Were Here (musical), a 1952 Broadway musical...


  • The Simpsons Halloween special, Treehouse of Horror II includes a parody.
  • The season seven episode Je Souhaite of The X-Files is centered around a Djinn who can grant three wishes, but which tend to turn out in an unexpected manner.
  • The story was the subject of a humorous song by the same name on Laurie Anderson's 1989 album Strange Angels.
  • In an episode of The Monkees, titled "The Monkee's Paw", a nightclub magician sells the band a cursed monkey's paw.
  • The Ripping Yarns story "The Curse of the Claw", broadcast in 1977 and starring Michael Palin, is a spoof in the style of Monty Python loosely inspired by The Monkey's Paw.
  • The film La Classe de Neige by Claude Miller has a scene based on The Monkey's Paw.
  • The short story is briefly parodied in an episode of South Park, titled Marjorine.
  • The first issue of Batton Lash's Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre featured a parody of "The Monkey's Paw" entitled "Herbert Has Risen from the Grave", collected in Tales of Supernatural Law, published by Exhibit A Press.
  • The first issue of Batton Lash's Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre featured a parody of "The Monkey's Paw" entitled "Herbert Has Risen from the Grave", collected in Tales of Supernatural Law.

Simpsons redirects here. ... Treehouse of Horror II is the seventh episode of The Simpsons third season, the second Simpsons Halloween episode, and the first Halloween episode where names in the closing credits were replaced by spooky name parodies. ... Je Souhaite (French for I Wish) is a seventh season The X-Files episode, which centers around a mischievous DJinn, or genie, who takes advantage of the poorly worded wishes that people want fulfilled. ... The X-Files is an American Peabody and Emmy Award-winning science fiction television series created by Chris Carter, which first aired on September 10, 1993, and ended on May 19, 2002. ... Genie is the anglicized word for the Arabic jinni. In Semitic mythology and Islamic religion, a jinni (also djinni or djini) is a member of the jinn (or djinn), a race of spirits. ... Laurie Anderson (born Laura Phillips Anderson, on June 5, 1947, in Glen Ellyn, Illinois) is an American experimental performance artist and musician. ... The Monkees were a pop-rock quartet created and based in Los Angeles in 1965 for an NBC American television series of the same name. ... Ripping Yarns (BBC video cover) Ripping Yarns was a British television comedy series, written by former Pythons Michael Palin and Terry Jones. ... Michael Edward Palin, CBE (born 5 May 1943) is an English comedian, actor, writer and television presenter best known for being one of the members of the comedy group Monty Python and for his travel documentaries. ... Monty Python, or The Pythons,[2][3] is the collective name of the creators of Monty Pythons Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show that first aired on the BBC on 5 October 1969. ... Claude Miller (born February 20, 1942 in Paris) is a French film director, producer and screenwriter. ... This article is about the TV series. ... Marjorine is episode 909 of Comedy Centrals South Park. ...


  • Industrial/goth band the Electric Hellfire Club released a song called "The Monkey's Paw" on their album Witness.
  • Comedy singer/songwriter Pat McCurdy recorded a song called "Monkey Paw" on his 2007 release "15 Favorites."

// The Electric Hellfire Club is an industrial metal band mixing elements of glam metal, techno, gothic rock, psychedelia and experimental noise. ... Pat McCurdy Pat McCurdy is a singer/song writer from Wisconsin. ...

External links

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
The Monkey's Paw
  • "The Monkey's Paw"; Full Short Story Text
  • Gaslight edition of the story
  • Monkey's Paw Radio Play
  • The monkey's paw PDF



Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m