Hubris: A Deadly Arrogance

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Hubris: A Deadly Arrogance Everyone wants to gain and feel a sense of self-confidence, but newly formed confidence may be transformed into a self-harming arrogance; An underlying theme of an overpowering sense of hubris is presented through the decisions and consequences the characters of Jeff Strand’s short story “Specimen 313” and W.W Jacobs’ short story “The Monkey’s Paw” face. Doctor Prethorius, portrayed in “Specimen 313,” and Mr., Mrs., and Hubert White presented in “The Monkey’s Paw” receive an opportunity that presents a chance for a boost in power which quickly creates a feeling of hubris that overcomes the characters from both stories. The resources and knowledge the doctor possesses along with the White family’s ability to have …show more content…
Jacobs and Jeff Strand have both made it evident through their portrayal of the White family and Doctor Prethorius that arrogance presented inside the theme of hubris becomes a large, controlling and deadly entity. Mr., Mrs., and Hubert White, shown in “The Monkey’s Paw” had been directly informed by Sergeant-Major Morris of dire consequences that resulted from the past usage of the monkey’s supernatural paw. A regular, seemingly happy and satisfied family gets presented with a magical monkey paw that will grant any wish however, there are consequences that follows the wish. The Sargent has given the White family three warnings against using the paw; “It has caused enough mischief already,” “Better let it burn,” and “but I warn you of the consequences” (Jacobs 14). Hubris is being exemplified when despite multiple forewarnings, the White family wishes for two hundred pounds, showing their arrogance and their feeling of invincibility. The White’s assume that their wish will not come true, but in the case that it does, they believe there could not be any consequences (Jacobs 15). This sense of Hubris comes to be a threat when the two hundred pounds is granted to Mr. and Mrs. White as a form of compensation. In contrast to the Whites being directly warned, the doctor from “Specimen 313” has been indirectly warned of the potential that his experiments would result in danger. Although, he is fully aware of his ever-growing control and power that he strives so desperately to

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