The Monkey's Paw

in monkey's paws why does the story start with the father and son playing chess?

does the father's strategy at the chess game tell you something about his personality

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Last updated by adam q #385138
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Chess symbolizes life in “The Monkey’s Paw.” Those who play a daring, risky game of chess, for example, will lose, just as those who take unnecessary risks in life will die. When the story opens, Mr. White and Herbert play chess by the fire, and the game’s outcome mirrors the story’s outcome. Mr. White, the narrator explains, has a theory of “radical changes” concerning chess. He takes terrible, unnecessary risks with his king, risks that make his wife nervous as she watches the game unfold. As he plays, he notices that he has made a mistake that will prove deadly. The risks and mistakes Mr. White makes playing chess parallel the risks and mistakes he makes wishing on the monkey’s paw. These mistakes ultimately lead to Herbert’s death, the most “radical change” of all.


to get the reader in the story more

There's a better way to explain that Shawn. Besides your answer, you could suggest that the occuring theme is Mr. White, Herbert, and Chess. (Like the game chess). Chess really symbolizes the life in `The Monkey's Paw."

Mr. White leads Herbert to his faithful death and that is considered to be the most "radical change" of all.

You can click on the link I've provided below.

Hope this helps Shawn J.