The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs is one of the texts you can read on CommonLit. This text is intended for 8th grade with Lexile of 880. It is known that W.W. Jacobs was an English writer of novels and short stories that was most famous for his horror stories.
In the Monkey’s Paw text, Jacobs tells the story of an older couple, their adult son and a visitor who bring them fantastic stories and mysterious souvenirs from his travels in India. After reading this text, you can try to take an assignment by answering the questions available next to the text.
Discussion of The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs on CommonLit
You can find the text of The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs on CommonLit here. Beside the text, there are four tabs including Annotation Tool, Guiding Questions, Assessment Question and Discussion.
It would be better for you to see the discussion first before taking an assessment question, since some questions on assessment are explained in the discussion tab. So, you will easily answer the assessment questions.
In addition to discussion, there are also some guiding questions as practicing questions before you take assessment questions. Furthermore, the guiding questions will ease you to answer the questions on assessment section. So, here are the discussions about The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs on CommonLit:
- In the context of the story, can we control our fate? Do our choices have an impact on the course of our lives, or are our lives predetermined no matter what we do?
(To answer this question, you may need to cite evidence from the text, based on your own experience, and other literature, art or history in your answer)
- In the context of the story, how do families face death? When is it better to accept death, and when is it better to fight against it? How does each approach impact the people who still live?
(To answer this question, you may need to cite evidence from the text and based on your own experience, and other literature, art or history in your answer)
- In your experience, how important is it to listen to other people’s wisdom before you make your own decisions? Does listening to others help us make better choices, or does it keep us from taking risks?
(Make sure to answer this question based on your own experience)
As we’ve mentioned, there are also some guiding questions you can find next to the text. Let’s see some guiding questions available on CommonLit:
- The story is set…
a. in a men’s club
b. n an isolated house
c. outside in the rain
d. in a town square
Answer: b. in an isolated house
- How does the White family first react to the sight of the monkey’s paw?
a. Mr. White and Herbert are interested, but Mrs. White is disgusted.
b. Mr. and Mrs. White are interested, but Herbert is suspicious.
c. Mrs. White is surprised, but Herbert and Mr. White are irritated.
d. Mrs. White and Herbert are uninterested, but Mr. White is enthusiastic.
Answer: a. Mr. White and Herbert are interested, but Mrs. White is disgusted.
- What does the sergeant-major think of the monkey’s paw?
a. He thinks it is helpful.
b. He thinks it is useless.
c. He thinks it is entertaining.
d. He thinks it is dangerous.
Answer: d. He thinks it is dangerous.
- Which of the following best describes the family’s attitude when they make their wish?
Answer: c. Playful
- Which of the following best describes how Herbert is feeling when he sits by the fire?
Answer: a. uneasy
- Which of the following could NOT be used to describe the family’s conversation at the breakfast table?
Answer: a. anxious
- What does the visitor reveal to Mr. and Mrs. White?
a. Their son has broken a piece of equipment.
b. Their son has been killed in an accident.
c. Their son has received a promotion.
d. Their son has left his job and run away.
Answer: b. Their son has been killed in an accident.
- Why does Mrs. White scream and Mr. White drop to the floor?
a. The visitor insults their son.
b. The visitor asks them for money.
c. The visitor asks them to come with him to see their son.
d. The visitor offers them the amount of money they had wished for.
Answer: d. The visitor offers them the amount of money they had wished for.
- What does Mrs. White want to do?
a. She wants to get the sergeant-major to take back the paw.
b. She wants to use the paw to bring their son back to life.
c. She wants to use the paw to get revenge on the visitor.
d. She wants to destroy the paw by burning it.
Answer: b. She wants to use the paw to bring their son back to life.
- How does Mr. White react to his wife’s idea?
a. He has sympathy for her, but he refuses her request.
b. He is horrified, but he does what she asks.
c. He is curious about what will happen, so he helps her.
d. He is afraid of her idea, so he hides the paw from her.
Answer: b. He is horrified, but he does what she asks.
The Monkey’s Paw Answer Keys
Since CommonLit does not provide the answer keys for The Monkey’s Paw assessment, we then tried to look for The Monkey’s Paw answer keys from another source. We finally got the examples of The Monkey’s Paw answer keys from faspe.info.
We will show you the examples of the answers to The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs. Because the questions must be answered based on the text, you may need to read and understand the text first. Here are the examples of answer keys to questions of The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs:
- PART A: Which statement best expresses the theme of the story?
- PART B: Which Two quotes from the story best support the answer to Part A?
- PART A: How do paragraphs 63-72 contribute to an understanding of the mood at this point in the story?
- PART B: Which TWO details best support the answer to Part A?
- How does the dialogue in paragraphs 78-94 develop the plot of the story?
- PART A: What impact do Mr. and Mrs. White’s differing points of view in paragraphs 109-125 and paragraphs 133-139 have on Part III?
- PART B: Which TWO excerpts from the story best support the answer to Part A?
- How does the author use foreshadowing to contribute to the story’s overall meaning?
- Ignoring the wisdom and experience of others can lead to terrible consequences.
- The answer has two answers:
- I won’t,’ said his friend doggedly. ‘I threw it on the fire. If you keep it, don’t blame me for what happens. Pitch it on the fire again, like a sensible man.’” (This can be found in the paragraph 42)
- Mr. White dropped his wife’s hand, and rising to his feet, gazed with a look of horror at his visitor. His dry lips shaped the words, ‘How much?’ /Two hundred pounds was the answer. (This can be found be in the paragraphs 93-94)
- They create a suspenseful mood with details about the old man’s nightmares and Mrs. White’s concern.
- The answer has two answers:
- The last face was so horrible and so simian that he gazed at it in amazement. It got so vivid that, with a little uneasy laugh, he felt on the table for a glass containing a little water to throw over it.”
- as [sunlight] streamed over the breakfast table Herbert laughed at his fears.
- It reveals that Mr. White’s wish has been granted but not in the way they expected.
- Their different points of view about the sergeant-major emphasize the idea that visitors are threatening, which is an important theme in the story.
- The answer has two answers:
- Get it,’ she panted; ‘get it quickly, and wish — Oh, my boy, my boy!’ / Her husband struck a match and lit the candle. ‘Get back to bed,’ he said unsteadily. ‘You don’t know what you are saying.’” (This can be found in the paragraphs 113-114)
- But her husband was on his hands and knees groping wildly on the floor in search of the paw. If he could only find it before the thing outside got in.
- Mr. and Mrs. White and their son, Herbert, ignore the warnings about the danger of the supernatural. This foreshadowing helps develop the theme.