Solving the problem of evil in the twenty-first century

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Throughout history, the tale of a deal with the devil has been represented in Christian culture. Human’s ability to sell their soul to the devil to achieve earthy desires has been a continuous theme in literature and artwork. Song writers and artists throughout history have been thought of as particularly vulnerable to the devil and often play the role of the human making the deal. As the popular view of the devil developed the results of the deal with Satan altered. Usually the story takes two forms after accepting the bargain with the devil, the individual realizes nothing is worth their soul and repents or the individual realizes the same importance of their soul but simply can’t repent. Saturday Night Live presents a different possible conclusion to the deal with the devil story. Garth Brooks plays an employed man trying to break into the music industry. After being left by his girlfriend, the man feels one hit song would turn his whole life around. In this moment the devil, played by Will Ferrell, appears in a cloud of smoke with a guitar and promises to write a hit song for the man if he agrees to give over his soul. The man agrees to the deal. The devil tries to writes a song, but nothing seems to be working at one point he even starts playing a Smash Mouth song and claiming it as his own. After several failed attempts at writing a song including “Fred’s Slacks,” the man decides the deal is off and he will continue to write the song himself. This Saturday Night Live skit presents a Satan that is completely unable to deliver on his part of deal. The human has better song writing skills than the devil and ultimately the devil has nothing to offer the young man though the experience gives him inspiration for a song idea.

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One response

  1. nbe88

    I like how in this scene, the Devil comes in and makes an offer as a very scary and menacing individual. But as the skit goes on, the viewer starts to lose the sense of fear that was once there when he first appeared. When the Devil was mocked, the producers turned him into the butt of the joke for the skit. This reminded me of how the Devil was seen as a trickster/butt of jokes during Medieval Popular Culture.

    May 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm

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