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Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :

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. A perfect fusillade of knocks reverberated through the house.

(i)   Why was her husband looking for the paw ?

(ii)   Why does Mrs. White rush to open the door ?

(iii)  Do you think that it was Herbert knocking at the door ?

(iv)  Was the third wish fulfilled?

(v)  What is the lesson that the old fakir wanted to teach?

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(i)  The husband Mr. White was looking for the paw because he wanted to make his third wish. After the death of their son it was very hard for them. Mrs. White found it very difficult to live without her son. So she asks her husband to make a second wish and get the son back which Mr. White does. But then when he heard the knocking at the door he becomes sure that it was his son but now he was afraid that his wife would not be able to see her son, because, due to the accident his body was mutilated beyond recognition. That is why he wants to wish that he be gone.

(ii)  Mrs. White was finding it very difficult to live without her son. By any means she wanted her son back and that is why she even forced her husband to make his second wish. But in her grief she did not realize how her son would look. She just wants him back. Now, when there is knocking at the door she is sure that her son has come back and she hastily goes to open the door.

(iii)  Once Mr. White had made his second wish he and his wife are waiting for something to happen. Along with them the readers are also ready to believe that as a result of his second wish the visitor at the door was none other than their son Herbert. Because the first wish was granted now they as well as the reader’s are sure that the second one would also be granted. So I think it was Herbert knocking as the door though nobody is shown at the door. We can only guess that it was Herbert in his totally mutilated body at the door.

(iv)  The third wish also seems to have been fulfilled. After the first wish the old couple received a sum of two hundred pounds. It makes us believe that the monkey’s paw had the magic spell about it. Second time after the wish there is knocking at the door which meant that Herbert had come and the knocking stopped soon and this is enough indication that the third wish was also granted.

(v)  The old fakir had put a spell on the monkey’s paw. He wanted to show that fate ruled people’s lives and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow. When Sergeant proffered the paw and told them how he got it, Sergeant Major had warned Mr. Morris by saying that if he must wish then he should wish sensibly and thus had invited their sorrow. They showed greed in asking for materialistic things like money, without realizing that they would have to pay a price for getting that money. Though the wishes are granted but all the three who used the paw regretted having asked for the wishes. In other words we can say that when we aspire for material things we might be happy only for a short while but in the long term they cannot make us happy rather they are the cause of pain and misery that human beings undergo.

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