Monkey\'s

Paw And Masque Of Red Death

Imagine you could wish for your heart’s desire. It could be anything you
wanted. However, someone would have to die for your wish to come true. Remember,
be careful of what you wish for; The consequences may be horrific. The idea of
fate and symbolism, when mixed together, can make a lethal pair. Poe and Jacobs
use fate and symbolism to paint an effective picture of death. The idea of fate
is used in both "The Monkey’s Paw" and "The Masque of the Red Death"
very well. In "Monkey", the paw manipulates faith. "It moved.....As I
wished it twisted in my hand like a snake." The twisting and movement
represents someone or something manipulating fate for their wants. In

"Masque", the aristocracy also tried to manipulate fate. However, they
weren’t wishing any material possessions; they were trying to control fate to
survive the Red Death. "The abbey was amply provisioned. With such precautions
the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion." By provisioning the abbey and
taking other precautions, the partygoers were trying to cheat death. Changing
your destiny can have consequences. Op and Jacob’s both demonstrate this. In

"Monkey", the father wishes for two hundred pounds. While it does come true,
there was a consequence. This was Herbert’s death. The same thing goes for

"Masque." Even though the people took precautions (a.k.a. manipulating fate)
against the Red Death, they still died. Edgar Allen Poe and W.W. Jacobs do an
excellent job of using symbolism in their stories. Jacobs uses the monkey’s
paw to symbolize someone trying to change or manipulate fate. The fact that is a
monkey’s paw is important for one reason: A monkey is the only other animal
besides humans that has opposable thumbs. In "Masque", one of the seven
deadly sins, pride, is used to symbolize fate manipulation. The people had so
much pride that they thought they could do anything. They even thought they
could change their destiny. Another symbol in "Monkey" is the chessboard and
game at the beginning. The chessboard symbolizes life. The pieces are people
like us. They can move certain ways, but if they make a mistake or try to do
something audacious, there can be consequences. Checkmate, or death, is one of
those consequences. The mummer in "Masque" also symbolizes death. "The
figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of
the grave. The mask which concealed the visage was made so nearly to resemble
the countenance of a stiffened corpse that the closes scrutiny must have had
difficulty in detecting the cheat." This description alone represents the

Plague, the death of the people. Poe and Jacobs both used the idea of changing
our fate very well in their stories. They did the same with symbolism, too.

These two literary concepts can create a vivid image for the reader. I feel
there is one major theme you can get from these stories, especially "The

Monkey’s Paw." That is: Be careful what you wish for.