Temptation preys upon what we wish for and what we dream for. Want a flashy car: a cherry red, nitrous infused Lamborghini with leather seats, a thumping sound system and a set of wicked hydraulics? Sure it sounds good, but how possible is that on such a measly salary? Maybe, but only after working 60 hour work weeks and cutting your budget so that you're surviving on toast and ramen noodles. Do this for the next decade or more, working to the break point and sacrificing everything comfortable, and only then would you be able to afford your dream car. But that is why your dream car is still a dream; the plausibility of purchasing it is so far out of your reach that you can only imagine it and dream about one day owning it. You continue to dream and hope, thinking about your fantasy becoming true, but you are positive the closest you will get to owning a Lamborghini is when you ogle it at the dealership as you drive by. What would happen if a person just offered a Lamborghini to you? That mysterious new guy from accounting approaches you and tells you he can grant you anything you want all you have to do, is wish for it. Would you do it? Of course you would! If someone could offer you your dream car for doing no work at all, automatically, your first response would be yes!, but after a minute, you would remember nobody offers anything for free and you would ask: Ok, what's the catch?
[...] White who desired her son to be brought back from death, and Charles Underhill who wanted to protect his son from horrible childhood, the characters in The Black Lake desire something which allows for the Faustian-Bargain to take place. Through a supernatural power, it is the lake that tempts the characters. The lake itself becomes a Faustian-Bargain. The characters, Greg, Douggie, and Hugh are traversing the country side on their annual hunting-and- fishing trip stopping where they please and reaping the vast amounts of game to be hunted. [...]
[...] A Faustian-Bargain may not even be with a human being, but a lake, as in The Black Lake. These short stories may sound different, but all of them focus on the theme of a Faustian-Bargain, in which something mystical artifact, a child, or a body of water preys upon the character's desires with temptation. It offers a bargain: your inner most desires in exchange for your life. Surrendering your life for a wish is a steep consequence for getting what you've always desired. [...]
[...] The devil tempts a person with an unattainable wish being granted, but the consequences of dealing with evil usually cost that person his life. The Monkey's Paw, The Playground, and The Black Lake are stories that unite in the underlying Faustian-Bargain theme. The innocent characters become more knowledgeable through their experience with evil. Their innocence allows them to agree to such an ignorant pact they cannot fathom the consequences, because temptation glosses over their eyes not allowing them the whole [...]
[...] When in reality it was the most terrible, the most merciless era, the barbaric time when there were no police to protect you, only parents preoccupied with themselves and their taller world (241). When the playground traditionally embodies the freedom of childhood the innocence of youth to play without fear of worry or responsibility Charles sees immense iron industry whose sole product was pain”. He reflects that childhood was not great, for him at least, and that he would give anything to spare his son the torments of such a place. [...]
[...] The Sergeant throws the paw in the fire, but only after getting his three wishes. In retrospect, the same situation might have occurred in which the paw was transferred into the Sergeant's hands. The fakir might have wanted to destroy the paw, but the Sergeant, eager to learn the power behind the talisman, would have recovered it. It's very similar to the story of Eden in the Bible. Adam and Eve are banished from Eden after they are tempted by a snake (presumably Satan) to eat the fruit from a tree God has told them not to eat from. [...]
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