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Human Intent and the Aftermath of It Washington Irving in writing The Devil and Tom Walker and Stephen Vincent Benet in writing The Devil and Daniel Webster illustrate to the reader the consequences of mans desire for material wealth and how a persons motivation for a relationship with the devil affects the outcome of the deal In these two different yet surprisingly similar narratives the authors present their beliefs about human intent and motive In The Devil and Tom Walker the story is seen of a stingy man and his nagging wife who were so miserly that they even conspired to cheat each other 128 In the story one sees a man make a deal with the devil who in the story is known as Old Scratch for the sole purpose of personal gain Tom Walker seeing only the possible wealth that he could achieve bargains with the devil and finally reaches an agreement which he sees to be fair Tom does not see the danger present in bargaining with such a powerful force for so little gain There is a note of humor present in the narrative which adds to the sense of danger that is present making deals that one does not intend to keep Commenting on the story Larry L Stevens notes that This tale comically presents the results of valuing the dollar above all else This story does a very good job of conveying a message to the reader about human values In the story Tom is seen as a very self-centered man who cares only for himself and his own well being He is not even phased when he discovers the remains of his wife hanging in a apron in a tree Tom consoled himself for the loss of his property with the loss of his wife 132 Tom is portrayed in the story as being typical of many of the citizens who lived in the town many
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