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Human Intent and the Aftermath of ItWashington Irving in writing The Devil and Tom Walker and Stephen VincentBenet in writing The Devil and Daniel Webster illustrate to the readertheconsequences of mans desire for material wealth and how a persons motivationfor arelationship with the devil affects the outcome of the deal In these twodifferent yetsurprisingly similar narratives the authors present their beliefs abouthuman intent andmotiveIn The Devil and Tom Walker the story is seen of a stingy man and hisnaggingwife who were so miserly that they even conspired to cheat each other128 In thestory one sees a man make a deal with the devil who in the story is knownas OldScratch for the sole purpose of personal gain Tom Walker seeing onlythe possiblewealth that he could achieve bargains with the devil and finally reachesan agreementwhich he sees to be fair Tom does not see the danger present in bargainingwith sucha powerful force for so little gain There is a note of humor present inthe narrativewhich adds to the sense of danger that is present making deals that one doesnotintend to keep Commenting on the story Larry L Stevens notes that Thistalecomically presents the results of valuing the dollar above all else Thisstory does avery good job of conveying a message to the reader about human valuesIn the story Tom is seen as a very self-centered man who cares only for himselfandhis own well being He is not even phased when he discovers the remains ofhis wifehanging in a apron in a tree Tom consoled himself for the loss of his propertywith theloss of his wife 132 Tom is portrayed in the story as being typical ofmany of thecitizens who lived in the town many of whos names Old Scratch had carvedinto thebark of a tree near the Indian Fort When the devil shows Tom a tree fora greedytownsperson he fails to see that he is very much like that tree when helooked in thedirection that the
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