The Monkey's Paw: Time Structure Essay examples

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"The Monkey's Paw" is a short story which moves around the edges of a ghost story and the uncanny. In general terms, the narration immerses the reader into a frightening atmosphere in which the reader can realise that there are certain elements that make the reading something more than a spooky tale; for example the way time is treated in the structure of the story. It is peculiar the way W.W. Jacobs manages to create a rather concrete story by making the reader fill so many gaps. In our opinion, that is due to the fact that there is a complete focus on the development of the story since the arrival of the monkey's paw, and that there are several omissions of facts in the beginning and in the end of the story, which is no coincidence. This…show more content…
If the reader looks closely, the only part that is being told of this story is the middle, that is to say neither the beginning (the origins of the monkey paw) nor the end (Mr. White final wish and what followed). In the first case, the reader is free to choose how much time passed since the arrival to the monkey paw to the White's house, and even more what happened during that time. There are other factors that can influence the reader's mind in the beginning such as the influence of alcohol over the veracity of the story. In the other case, the reader has to come to an ending based on the only clue that is behind: the knocks on the door. There are some other cases in this story which involve time, such as the actual time that passed between the departure of Hebert to his job and the arrival of the man who announce his death, fact that can even determine the credibility of the story told by the narrator, which not only make the reader interact with the story itself, but also it makes them become a crucial interface between the words and the meanings behind them. This works as a demonstration of what Sartre defined as engagé literature: reading is a commitment between writer and reader. In the case of "The Monkey's Paw", the story wouldn't be as interesting if the reader wouldn't have had the chances agreed by the reader to fill the gaps. That engagement makes the factor of time appears as a whole unit,
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