Devil and Tom Walker vs. Devil and Daniel Webster

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: The Devil and Daniel Webster, Stephen Vincent Benét, Hell
  • Pages : 3 (1169 words )
  • Download(s) : 686
  • Published : April 10, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
One of the pursuits of man is the pursuit to better himself and his circumstances. Throughout man’s life he battles. Every day he must continuously be able to get knocked down and get back up. For man is not measured how many times he gets knocked down but by how many times he can stand right back up. Well, this is the ideal circumstance anyway. Sometimes, a man feels like he isn’t good enough and he reaches that point where he gets tired of getting knocked down. He is then at his most vulnerable. The stories “The Devil and Daniel Webster”, by Stephen Vincent Benet, and “The Devil and Tom Walker”, by Washington Irving describe two characters who are down on their luck and portray the vulnerability and will to better their circumstance. Because their vulnerability they are desperate. This is when the devil slides his serpent body into man’s life. With his persuasive ways he can make any man who is vulnerable sell his soul away for what in fact is man’s goal. He promises man riches, prosperity, and the better circumstance. Even though these stories aren’t necessarily nonfiction the theme still holds constant. “A soft spoken, dark dressed stranger” (Benet 1) is the image that Benet depicts the devil as in his story. It’s a good contrast to how he’s described in “Tom Walker”. In this story however, the devil is portrayed as a smooth con artist. He has the trade mark “…smile with his teeth” (Benet 1) that portrays a criminal and evil behavior. This smooth criminal uses his brains and cunning to convince Jabez Stone to sell his soul and “… make their bargain” (Benet 1). The devil is portrayed as using his brain than his brawn. This can especially be seen when he doesn’t mind having his contract be held up in court and he resurrects a jury for Dan’l Webster. The reader can see he uses his intellect when he explains ‘“I am merely an honest American like yourself”’ (Benet 3). The devil is portrayed in a different perspective than in “Tom Walker”. The devil in “Tom...
tracking img