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Analysing Two Versions of The Monkey’s Paw A

Jack Todhunter | Thursday July 23, 2009

Categories: Writing, Comparing & Contrasting, Prose Analysis

The Monkey’s Paw - Version A

W.W. Jacobs

Two versions of the same story…

  • One was written for children who find reading difficult.
  • What has changed?
  • Why?

The Monkey’s Paw

W. W. Jacobs (Version A)

Without, the night was cold and wet, but in the small parlour of Laburnum Villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly. Father and son were at chess; the former, who possessed ideas about the game involving radical changes, putting his king into such sharp and unnecessary perils that it even provoked comment from the white-haired old lady knitting placidly by the fire.

‘Hark at the wind,’ said Mr White, who, having seen a fatal mistake after it was too late, was amiably desirous of preventing his son from seeing it.

I’m listening,’ said the latter, grimly surveying the board as he stretched out his hand. ‘Check.’

‘I should hardly think that he’d come tonight’ said his father, with his hand poised over the board:

‘Mate,’ replied the son.

‘That’s the worst of living so far out,’ bawled Mr White, with sudden and unlooked-for violence; ‘of all the beastly, slushy, out-of-the-way places to live in, this is the worst. The path’s a bog, and the road’s a torrent. I don’t know what people are thinking about. I suppose because only two houses in the road are let, they think it doesn’t matter.’

‘Never mind, dear,’ said his wife soothingly ‘perhaps you’ll win the next one.’

Mr White looked up sharply, just in time to intercept a knowing glance between mother and son. The words died away on his lips, and he hid a guilty grin in his thin grey beard.

‘There he is,’ said Herbert White, as the gate banged to loudly and heavy footsteps came toward the door.

The old man rose with hospitable haste, and opening the door, was heard condoling with the new arrival. The new arrival also condoled with himself, so that Mrs White said, ‘Tut, tut!’ and coughed gently as her husband entered the room, followed by a tall, burly man, beady of eye and...


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