The Monkey's Paw

The Monkey's Paw Character List

Mr. White

The father of Herbert and husband of Mrs. White, he is an elderly man who is annoyed that he lives so far out in the countryside. He is pleased when his friend Morris comes to visit, and the tale of the paw thrills him. When it comes down to it, though, he is hesitant to make a wish because he is worried about the consequences and thinks that he already has all he needs. Herbert's death depresses him, but he understands he cannot use the paw to bring his dead son back to life. He uses the third wish to undo what his wife did.

Mrs. White

The wife of Mr. White and mother of Mrs. White, she is initially skeptical of the paw's power. After her son is killed, though, she falls into a deep depression and decides that she should use a wish to bring Herbert back. Her hysteria and sorrow lead her to do this even though it goes against her husband's wishes.

Herbert White

The son of Mr. and Mrs. White, he works at Maw and Meggins. Youthful and enthusiastic, he is intrigued by the paw and hopes that the wishes will bring the family wealth and fame. Unfortunately, he is killed in the machinery at the factory where he works because his father's wish of two hundred pounds is fulfilled by the company compensating the family for Herbert's death.

Sergeant-Major Morris

Morris is tall and well built. He visits the Whites and regales them with exotic tales from his adventures abroad, particularly in India. He mentions the monkey's paw to them but is reluctant to let them have it; his demeanor and words suggest he is frightened of the talisman's power.