Even though the Monkey's paw allows its owner three wishes, it was not meant to be a blessing. A spell was place on the monkey's paw by a holy man. According to the sergeant major, he "wanted to show that fate rules people's lives, and that those who interfered with it did so TO THEIR SORROW." (pg 2) Fate is the force or power that predestines events in your life. . The sergeant major even tells the White's that the first man wished for death as his third wish. Mr. White did not ask for anything evil or mean. He wanted 200 pounds. He didn't even need the 200 pounds. He says he already had everything he needed. But the curiosity got to him, and he made his wish. He did receive his 200 pounds, but at the cost of his son's life. The company paid him 200 pounds to compensate for the death of his son in their machinery. When he wished that his son return from the dead, who knows what would have shown up at his door. Edgar Allen Poe keeps us guessing on that one.
I agree. The "wishers" have an idea that their wishes will have some kind of "stipulation" attached, but no one understands the tragic consequences. Fear of the unknown is always present. Curiosity gets the better of them and they make their wishes in the hopes that the outcome will be exactly what they want. Even after knowing that the paw is a curse and not a treasure, wishes are still made, and the outcomes even more tragic than the first.