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Human Intent and the Aftermath of It Washington Irving in writing The Devil and Tom Walker and Stephen VincentBenet in writing The Devil and Daniel Webster illustrate to the reader theconsequences of mans desire for material wealth and how a persons motivation for arelationship with the devil affects the outcome of the deal In these two different yetsurprisingly similar narratives the authors present their beliefs about human intent andmotive In The Devil and Tom Walker the story is seen of a stingy man and his naggingwife who were so miserly that they even conspired to cheat each other 128 In thestory one sees a man make a deal with the devil who in the story is known as OldScratch for the sole purpose of personal gain Tom Walker seeing only the possiblewealth that he could achieve bargains with the devil and finally reaches an agreementwhich he sees to be fair Tom does not see the danger present in bargaining with sucha powerful force for so little gain There is a note of humor present in the narrativewhich adds to the sense of danger that is present making deals that one does notintend to keep Commenting on the story Larry L Stevens notes that This talecomically presents the results of valuing the dollar above all else This story does avery 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 andhis own well being He is not even phased when he discovers the remains of his wifehanging in a apron in a tree Tom consoled himself for the loss of his property with theloss of his wife 132 Tom is portrayed in the story as being typical of many of thecitizens who lived in the town many of whos names Old Scratch had carved into thebark of a tree near
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