Tone in The Monkey's Paw
A Light-Hearted Beginning: The story’s tone begins with a stormy night, but inside the Whites’ house it’s warm and welcoming. As the story progresses, the weather becomes progressively unpleasant and darker as well. The descent is gradual rather than immediate.
Repetition as Warning: Furthermore, a sense of ominousness is created by the repeated warnings from Morris about the dangers of using the paw, especially the warning that everyone who has used the paw has later regretted it.
A Suspense-Filled Conclusion: As something approaches the Whites’ door later in the story, the tone is one of suspense, as readers wonder what exactly is on the other side of the door. Coupled with that is Mr. White’s sense of urgency as he struggles to make his final wish.
Tone Examples in The Monkey's Paw:
"The last face was so horrible and so simian that he gazed at it in amazement...." See in text (I.)
"A fine crash from the piano greeted the words, interrupted by a shuddering cry from the old man. His wife and son ran toward him...." See in text (I.)
"He darted round the table, pursued by the maligned Mrs. White armed with an antimacassar...." See in text (I.)
"four pairs of hands for me?"..." See in text (I.)
"If you keep it, don't blame me for what happens. Pitch it on the fire again like a sensible man."..." See in text (I.)
""I don't know what the first two were, but the third was for death...." See in text (I.)
"the way that middle age is wont to regard presumptuous youth. "I have," he said, quietly, and his blotchy face whitened...." See in text (I.)
""Well, it's just a bit of what you might call magic, perhaps," said the sergeant-major, offhandedly...." See in text (I.)
"of all the beastly, slushy, out-of-the-way places to live in..." See in text (I.)
"Without, the night was cold and wet, but in the small parlour of Laburnam Villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly. ..." See in text (I.)
"But her husband was on his hands and knees groping wildly on the floor in search of the paw...." See in text (III.)
"don't let it in,"..." See in text (III.)
"The candle-end, which had burned below the rim of the china candlestick, was throwing pulsating shadows..." See in text (III.)
"Even his wife's face seemed changed as he entered the room...." See in text (III.)
"a house steeped in shadow and silence...." See in text (III.)
"resignation--the hopeless resignation..." See in text (III.)