Stories and myths of the devil and encounters with him are as old as time itself. They appear frequently in movies, essays, plays, television programs and books, and American authors Stephen King, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Washington Irving are certainly no exception. However, they each demonstrate it differently in their short stories.
In each short story, the protagonist is a portrayed differently. In Irving’s “The Devil and Tom Walker”, Tom walker is a stingy, cheap man who fights with his wife constantly and only cares for himself and money. In the story he’s described as “a meager, misery fellow”. He differs from the other two protagonists simply because when he encountered the devil he was calm and steady. Stephen King’s “The Man in The Dark Suit” has a protagonist completely different- very innocent. An old man [Gary], encounters the devil while fishing one day in his childhood years. In “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the protagonist [Young Goodman Brown] is a young newlywed puritan with very strong faith. However he is different from the other two because he sets out looking for the devil. Not only does he have arrangements to meet him but to do business with him which is something the other two protagonists definitely did not have in mind.
The devil is characterized and described differently in each story as well. In Irving’s story, he’s a black figure covered in soot dressed like an Indian with bright red eyes and carries and axe. He’s not mean or cruel as would you think. He’s actually very friendly, but manipulative as well. In King’s story the devil is depicted as a tall, skinny, pale man with black hair, red orange-ish eyes and he carries the smell of burnt matches and sulfur. This description though is the complete opposite of Hawthorne’s. In Hawthorne’s story the devil has a great resemblance of Young Goodman Brown. He is pretty much an older version of Young Goodman Brown except he carries a staff that looks like a snake....
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