Today we were having a nice discussion about The Monkey’s Paw and the magic of irony. We discussed how messing with fate was destined to end badly for anyone who dared to use the cursed monkey's paw to make a wish.
In the story, the Old Man and Old Woman make their first wish for money to pay off their mortgage and keep their son out of debt. When the son dies in a tragic accident, the Old Man and Old Woman receive the money they had wished for, but as compensation for their son’s death. The second wish is made, and of course it is to bring their son back to life. During the night as their son makes his way back from the cemetery to their doorstep, the Old Man wizens up and makes the third and final wish for their son’s death.
Student: “That’s mean.”
Me: “If it makes you feel better, they didn’t wish to kill their son, they just wished that he didn’t have to come back all gross.”
Student: “So. It’s their son.”
Me: “You have to remember that he died by falling into machinery. Like you said before, he was all ground up like hamburger; the family couldn’t have an open casket. He has been buried for weeks, he had to climb out of his coffin and through six feet of dirt, and then he had to drag himself for miles back to his parents’ house. Now imagine that all of that had happened to you. Can you imagine what your body would feel like? Can you imagine what you would look like and smell like?
Student: “So. I don’t dress to impress.”
Me: “Well, I guess I can’t argue with that now can I?”