Monkey’s Paw…afterthoughts…

I have always liked plays or movies that chilled me to the bones. The tingling sensation down my spine which I get while reading the script simply excites me. I have no idea but that just seems to be the case for me.

In my secondary school days, I came across a play called Monkey’s Paw. I remembered crystal clearly that we were studying it as part of our Literature lesson. I would say by far it was one of my most favourite plays (along with ‘The Eye’) which I came across whilst studying Lit. At that time, all I could do was simply imagine in my head how the play would have been performed in the theater as I had neither the time nor energy to go source out for places that was airing that play. That chance, however, came unexpectedly to me when I took up diploma plus in poly =)

As part of my module, I had to watch the play being acted out in my polytechnic’s auditorium. I must say, I was overwhelmed with a whole jumble of thoughts after the entire play. Before that, for the benefit of the doubt of those who are not entirely clear about the original story, click here.

Of course our school did a little twist with the story. They added an extra character who goes by the name of: Steven White, aka Herbert’s brother. Steven was supposed to have died in a war years ago. So the ending is slightly different…I shall not be a spoiler =)

Anyway, about my afterthoughts…I guess to sum things up, the best line would be ‘Be careful what you wish for’ Things are not always what one would expect: wishes might not turn up the way we want them to and at times, it might destroy our lives. By wishing for something, we are in a way disrupting the balance of nature.

In fairy tales, miracles happen and wishes do come true. The innocence and purity of a child’s imagination…sadly to be corrupted more and more as they get older. This story, The Monkey’s Paw, is a twisted version of having your wish come true. I felt that it shows the darker side of humanity: Greed, insanity…how humans are so easily swayed by temptations. I would say it is not for the faint-hearted nor the sensitive. This play is dark, a little morbid I would say, and it plays with the mind.

As I watched the play, I realized how true the play actually was. I am not referring to the monkey but the humans. It is said that living humans are scarier than any ghosts, zombies, vampires or any monsters that lurk in the dark. Imagine this, a mother losing her child and becoming so overwhelmed with sorrow that she borders on the brink of insanity. In order to just see her child again, she forces her husband to make the wish using the same method that landed them in that situation in the first place! This was what came to my mind: Humans never seem to learn from their mistakes. They would do ANYTHING to achieve their goal, sometimes becoming so blinded that they do not see the consequences. Blinded by rage, anger, lust, sorrow, any strong negative emotions…it becomes too much for them to handle that they snap, like a rubber band.

Being a human of course, I have experienced some of these emotions myself. However, I decided to try something this time. I took on the role of an observer…not just any old observer…but an observer who is not a human. I threw away any emotions I had. I did not feel anger nor sorrow, no pity either for any of the characters. Anything that reminded me that I was a human, I put it on hold, pushing it all the way back. The result was this post…my afterthoughts…

So…I urge to everyone…everything comes with a price. Nothing is ever free. What we wish for might come true…but not in a way one would expect. The more extravagant the wish seems, the higher the price paid…that is balance for you…have a good night…my friends…

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