Life Lessons in “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs and “The Third Wish” by Joan Aiken
What would a typical person do if they had three wishes and knew that there would be a price that they would have to pay in order for them to fulfill their wishes? This is the question that overcomes the main characters, Mr. White and Mr. Peters, in the stories “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs and “The Third Wish” by Joan Aiken. In these two stories, two men were allowed to create three wishes each and had consequences that followed, therefore, they learned a valuable lesson about life.
The men in the two stories were distinct in their own ways, one being very greedy and the other very cautious. In “The Monkey’s Paw,” our main character was Mr. White. He was very discerning. When he is first introduce in “The Monkey Paw,” he asks many question and is very curious (page 88-89). Mr. White is also very greedy. He was not content with hat he had, and he then, out of all the wishes in the world, asked for 200 pounds for his own conveniences (page 91). On the other hand, the main character of “The Third Wish” is Mr. Peters. Mr. Peters is a kind-hearted, cautious man. The reader can tell that those are his traits for number of reasons. First of all, the reader can tell that Mr. Peters is compassionate because of his reaction towards a swan trying to extricate itself from a branch. He quickly rushes over and tries to free the bird (page 101-102). Another reason why the reader knows that Mr. Peters is kind is because they see how he wants his wife to be happy more than himself. This clearly shows how “warm his heart” is (page 104-105). The reader can also learn that Mr. Peters is cautious by observing the way he thinks about his three wishes. Every time he thinks of a wish, he pricks his tongue with a thorn (page103). The traits both characters demonstrated also led the reader to understand the wishes that both characters made.
Each of the men were granted three wishes, however, both men were told ahead of time to be wise about their decisions. In “The Monkey’s Paw,” Mr. White’s first wish was to gain 200 pounds to pay off his mortgage (page 91). Consequently, Mr. White paid a very high price for his wish. He lost his only son, Herbert 9page 93-94). Mr. White’s second wish was to bring his son back to life (page 95-96). Well, Herbert died in a machinery malfunction, so if he was to bring his son back to life, he would be distorted (page 95-96). Mr. White didn’t want his son mutilated; therefore, he wished a third time. This time he wished for his son to stay dead (page 98). Due to that wish, the White couple had to live a life without their son. However, in the “The Third Wish,” we have a different case. In this story, Mr. Peters was very careful about his wishes. Mr. Peters' first wish was to have...