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Intent and Motive in The Devil and Tom Walker and The Devil and Daniel Webster

Project id 1014278
Subject area Other
Document type Essay
Words 3478
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Intent and Motive from The Devil and Tom Walker and The Devil and Daniel Webster Washington Irving, in composing "The Devil and Tom Walker", and Stephen Vincent Benet, in composing "The Devil and Daniel Webster" Connect to the reader the consequences of man's desire for material wealth and the way a person's motivation for a connection with the devil impacts the outcome of this "agreement". In both of these different, yet amazingly similar narratives, the authors show their beliefs about individual intent and motive. Back in "The Devil and Tom Walker", the narrative is regarded as a stingy man and his nagging wife who "...were so miserly that they even conspired to cheat each other" (128). From the story, a person sees a guy make a deal with the devil, who at the narrative is called "Old Scratch", for the sole purpose of personal gain. Tom Walker, seeing only the possible wealth that he can attain, deals with the devil and eventually reaches an arrangement that he sees to be honest. Tom does not see the danger within bargaining with such a powerful force for so little benefit. There's a note of humor within the story, which increases the feeling of risk that is present making bargains that one does not intend to maintain. Commenting on the story, Larry L. Stevens notes that "This narrative,..., comically presents the results of valuing the dollar over all else." This story does a very good job of conveying a message into the reader regarding individual worth. From the narrative Tom is viewed as a very bashful guy who cares only for himself and his own well being. He is not even phased when he discovers the remains of his wife dangling in a scarf at a tree; "Tom consoled himself for the loss of his house with all the loss of his spouse" (132). Tom is portrayed in.

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