Talisman or Curse: Cultural Distortion in Horror Narrative of “The Monkey’s Paw”

Yue YUAN, Min YU


In the famous horror short story “The Monkey’s Paw” (1902) by British author William Wymark Jacobs, the monkey’s paw, a talisman from colonial India, is given a sinister and bizarre cultural connotation and becomes a “curse” for the Whites. Drawing on concepts related to postcolonial studies, this dissertation focuses on the social and cultural symbolism of the Monkey’s Paw in the story, comparing its connotation in Indian culture with the connotation in the Oriental imagination by Jacobs. It analyzes how Jacobs uses the horror narrative to distort Indian culture, thereby revealing the dominant discourse of imperialist cultural hegemony over the East in British literature.


“The Monkey’s Paw”; Cultural distortion; Horror narrative; Culture hegemony

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/12607


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