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Mr. White wants the paw despite Sergeant-Major Morris's warnings of evil the paw brings. Mr. White snatches the paw up from the fire and buys it. This is the beginning of Mr. White's obsession with greed and the end of his mental stability.
Mr. White wishes for two hundred pounds to pay off the mortgage on his house. When the two hundred pounds shows up at the expense of his son's life, Mr. White falls deeper under the spell of the paw to "fix" the situation. He becomes desperate and mentally unhinged.
Mr. White's final wish is done out of panic. There is an apocalyptic tone to Mr. White's psyche as well as the end of the story.