The Monkey's Paw

The Monkey's Paw Imagery

Imagery: Faces

Mr. White sits before the dying fire and imagines he sees terrible, simian faces within in it; this is a creepy and powerful image that foreshadows the doom to come.

Imagery: The dead Herbert

While Jacobs does not fully describe Herbert's mangled body and what he might look like raised from the dead, he gives readers just enough to conjure up a terrible and frightening image in their head; herein lies some of the potency of the way in which Jacobs tells his tale.

Imagery: The Night

The image of Mr. and Mrs. White waiting in the flickering candlelight for Herbert, the slow expiration of the candle, their silent trudge back to their cold bed, and their mournful rest is sorrowful as well as ominous, for the reader expects that something will interrupt this quiet darkness soon enough.

Imagery: The Deserted Road

The very last image is a quietly spooky one: having gathered courage after the knocking stopped, the Whites look out their door and see nothing but a streep lamp flickering on a deserted road. All is silent, and there is no trace of their dead son. This image calls into question everything that has just happened, or not happened. Was it really Herbert? Was there really knocking at all? If it was Herbert, where is he now? What exactly did Mr. White wish for?