The Monkey's Paw Historical Context

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The British Empire

When Jacobs wrote "The Monkey's Paw" a popular saying was "the sun never sets on the British empire." By the early 1900s, England had conquered and colonized countries all over the world. The saying meant that somewhere in the world it was always daylight, and there a British colony could be found. Sergeant-Major Morris returns from India, a British colony, in "The Monkey's Paw." In colonies like India, Hong Kong, Australia, and South Africa, British military men, explorers, archaeologists, and scientists were learning about ancient cultures and traditions little known in the West. Returning from distant colonies to England, they were firsthand sources of information about other peoples and countries for their countrymen curious about exotic far-off lands. The retired colonel just back from India was a staple character in British popular fiction for many years.

The Victorian Era

The last decades of the 19th...

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This section contains 314 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Monkey's Paw Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Monkey's Paw from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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