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”The Devil and Tom Walker” and “The Man in the Black Suit” Essay Sample

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”The Devil and Tom Walker” and “The Man in the Black Suit” Essay Sample

The Devil has been the subject of many stories, always represented as an evil being, a cursed creature that preys on the souls of humans. He is described in many different ways, just like the many forms he takes in many stories. Two famous stories that deal with this fearsome creature are “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving, and “The Man in the Black Suit” by Stephen King. Both suggest that the Devil always pursue the human weaknesses, however, Irving implies that the Devil only hunts the corrupted heart; while King signifies the Devil also take interest in innocents.

In “The Devil and Tom Walker,” Tom Walker is a corrupted and greedy man, but, he is just a poor farmer who could only desire for that power and money. However, one day, the Devil appeared in front of him, willing to give him all that he desires in exchange for his soul. Tom with his already tainted soul, agreed, and lives a well lived life, having everything he ever wanted through the most desecrate way possible. “Tom was the universal friend of the needy, and he acted like a ‘friend in need’…(however,) He accumulated bonds and mortgages; gradually squeezed his costumers closer and closer; and sent them at length, dry as a sponge from his door.” He made money by deception, cheating people of lands, destroying homes, and taking over other’s hard earned land.

Yet towards the end of his life he still wishes to cleanse his sins by going to church, admitting god and praying, however this is once again due to his own selfishness. “Having secured the good things of this world, he began to feel anxious about those of the next. He thought with regret on the bargain he had made with his black friend, and set his wits to work to cheat him out of the conditions.” After, all that Tom has did, he himself knew what would become of him and so out of his own selfishness, he tries to break the deal he made with the devil. Trying desperately to escape his fate, Tom continues to go to church and pray, even begin carrying bibles with him all the time, however, the bargain still stands and in the end Tom meets his fate, as the devil appear by his side once again.

In the story on Stephen King however, it deals with an innocent child that was victimize for his deep fear, while in the case of Tom Walker, he had a well-deserved end. In “The Man in the Black Suit,” the Devil approached an innocent child who was haunted by the memory of his dead brother who was sting by a bee; as a result it became one of his worse fear. Gary (the young boy) was targeted because of the hunger for human flesh invoked in the evil creature. Having sense this fear of Gary, the Devil uses it as his advantage, and cruelly invents a story to invoke Gary’s terror. (Quote from text about his mother dying). Using Gary’s weakness the Devil used it as his advantages to hurt him, giving the boy a sense of hopelessness and despair so that Gary will give into him easier. (Quote from Text.) However, just as the devil about the reach Gary, the boy reposes and hit him. Gary eventually ran to his father safely, and later to found his mother alive and safe at home. Yet still, inside of him, he always remembers the Devil’s face, the man who wore a black suit that approached him that day. The innocent Boy who became the victim because of the lust of hunger from the devil is very much different from Irving’s story. In the ways the victim was chosen and targeted.

Both these stories introduced the devil as an evil creature in the way it preys on humans, however it seems that the victim varies. It shows that the Devil not only preys on the greedy, or sinful. It also shows that he preys on the weak, and vulnerable. This is one point that people always forgets, that the devil seems to affect and influence all, and that victims are not always chosen. Because people are humans and aren’t perfect, each person posses a weakness that makes us vulnerable, and that is something everyone should keep in mind.

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