Romantic Literature

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Sydney Jones
LA ACA 11
12-16-11
Romance is described as a mysterious or fascinating quality or appeal, as of something adventurous, heroic, or strangely beautiful. Romance is often written about in many works throughout time. In the 18th century the “brooding” romantics shared an idea that all humans were capable of being evil. Their writing was often complex, mysterious, and filled with emotion. Washington Irving’s “The Devil and Tom Walker”, Edgar Allen’s “The Masque of the Red Death”, and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Minster’s Black Veil” are romantic stories because they emphasize on passion, nature, the individual, and the unusual. Even though Hawthorne, Poe, and Irving are all romantic writers, they use different elements to develop their stories.

Washington Irving uses several romantic elements to tell the story of Tom Walker, an old miserly man who sells his soul the Devil in exchange for wealth. One element that is illustrated is the use of imagination and emotion once Tom became secure in his wealth he started to show how evil he really was, “Let the freebooter roast,’ said Tom; ‘who cares!’ He now felt convinced that all he had heard and seen was no illusion.” (Irving 319). As Tom starts to grow old he realizes how bad his deal with the Devil was, he attempts to undo his wrongdoing by becoming religious. Tom gets out of the deal and is left poor when he asks to be taken if he has made money off of hopeless people, Walker is left with nothing, and his fortune is now worth mere pennies. (Irving 324). Irving also shows an interest in the historic past, the Devil is guarding a hidden treasure buried by Kidd the pirate, the treasure was never recovered because of the pirate being killed. (Irving 312). While Tom Walker was taking a short cut home he comes across old Indian land. “Nothing remained of the old Indian for but a few embankments, gradually sinking to the level of the surrounding earth, and already overgrown in part by oaks and other forest...
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