The Devil and Tom Walker

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Washington Irving the author of The Devil and Tom Walker uses the setting of the story to convey that things with a good appearance can be deceiving and be putrid on the inside. He also creates the right atmosphere for the story, and gives precise details to the audience so they can predict the topic and how it will develop. In addition, he describes each character in a manner that the readers can infer who they are, their personal characteristics, and the decisions that they might make throughout the development of the story. Moreover, he provides a background for each character in order to understand their actions and their ending. This tall tale occurs near Boston, Massachusetts that as recorded in history was the place that held the witch hangings in 1692. Moreover he wrote "…there is a deep inlet, winding several miles into the interior of the country from Charles Bay, and terminating in a thickly wooded swamp or morass." The mentioned description and information gives an overview that the tale may contain supernatural situations and smuggling – or related situations- because it provides the perfect sinister and gloomy environment. As equally important when Irving describes the swamp, where most of the story take place, he gives details such as "On one side of this inlet is a beautiful dark grove; on the opposite side the land rises abruptly from the waters' edge into a high ridge…" He also says "It was full of pits and quagmires, partly covered with weeds and mosses, where the green surface often betrayed the traveler into a gulf of black, smothering mud…" These depictions provide information for the audience to deduce that the swamp is a place that seems safe and beautiful, but any careless step could bring in destruction or obstacles. These speculations are proven true when the termagant wife of Tom Walker goes into the swamp and gets slaughtered by the devil. Secondly, the swamp was covered with "great trees, fair and flourishing without, but rotten at...
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