The Devil And Daniel Webster Essay

813 words - 4 pages

Heroes are often remembered as larger than life. In "The Devil and Daniel Webster", Stephen Vincent Benet portrays "Dan'l" Webster as larger than life. In fact, Dan'l is portrayed as the biggest man in the country who is trusted right next to God Almighty (187). The essence of heroism is captured when a genuine American hero is re-created into a mythological superhero that puts his own soul at risk when he saves the soul of an ordinary man (188, 192). Benet tells the story of how a man who can make stars and stripes come right out of the sky when he speaks, defends an extremely unlucky New England farmer named Jabez Stone. Jabez makes a deal with the devil to change his hard luck (197-198). ...view middle of the document...

America's love for folklore and legend lives on as Stephen Benet again portrays Dan'l Webster as a mythological being. For example, as Jabez arrives in Marshfield to ask for help, Dan'l is talking Latin to his farmhands and wrestling with the ram, Goliath, and trying out a new trotter and working up speeches to make against John C. Calhoun (192). Dan'l drops everything he is doing when Jabez arrives. This story conveys that true heroes are there when they are needed. Therefore, Dan'l agrees to help Jabez, if he can, for Dan'l believes that "if two New Hampshiremen aren't a match for the Devil, we might as well give the country back to the Indians" (192). The story is praise not only for Dan'l Webster, however, but also for his country, for the two are bound together. For example, if you go to his grave, he will ask you "Neighbor, how stands the Union?" (187).Having acquired the help of Dan'l Webster, and now awaiting the Devil's knock on the door, Jabez becomes frantic. He did not want the Devil to get the Union's stay and New Hampshire's pride. He desperately begs Dan'l to save...

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