The Devil and Tom Walker

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Tyler Laudeman
Mrs. Mahan
American Lit
23 October 2012
The Devil and Tom Walker
“The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving, takes place in the swamps of Massachusetts. Upon walking home one night Tom Walker decided to take a shortcut through the swamps. When Tom finds a deserted Indian fort in the woods he meets the devil. The devil makes Tom a deal. The deal that Tom could have all the gold he wanted if he gave the devil his soul. Washington Irving was a famous romanticist, focused on the romantic ideas that nature symbolizes life and supernatural events can be express ideas.

In “The Devil and Tom Walker” there are multiple events that appear supernatural. When Tom is walking along in the woods he meets the devil or, otherwise known as, the Old Scratch, "’The upshot of all which is, that, if I mistake not,’ said Tom, sturdily, ‘you are he commonly called Old Scratch.’" (Irving). Tom is confronted by the devil for trespassing on his land. Now most people do not believe in the devil, but romanticists believe that the devil was a supernatural or gothic being. When Tom decides he is not scared of the devil, he offers Tom him a deal. He shall give his soul to the devil for eternity in exchange for all the riches he could imagine. When Tom got home he decided not to accept the deal to make his wife upset and mad. Tom told his wife that he was not going to accept the devils offer she went off and tried to make it herself. After a few days of her missing Tom decides to go and look for her. Upon finding parts of her body and confirming that she was dead he made the deal with the devil, because he didn’t have a reason to not take the deal. Tom would get the money and become a person who lends money at unreasonably high rates of interest. Tom agreed to take the devils usurer and drive people to bankruptcy. After years of service the devil came for tom, "’Tom, you're come for!’ said the black fellow, gruffly” (Irving). When the devil made Tom the deal he sold...
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