Theme of The Devil and Tom Walker
In Washington Irving’s short story The Devil and Tom Walker, greed is shown to be a terrible trait that comes with many negative affects. Revealed by Irving when he introduced the setting, Tom Walker lived a miserable life isolated with his untrustworthy wife due to his miserly personality, and by this Irving was showing that living a life of greed will ultimately lead to misery. When decisions are being made based on greed and self benefit it will alter one thinking process and help you to make harmful and unintelligent decisions, as shown by Irving represented by greed based decisions both Tom and his wife made. Irvin also illustrated that you can be overwhelmed by greed and it can metaphorically turn you into a monster or a fiend. Overall, Irving tried to demonstrate in his short story that if one’s life in run by greed it will lead a misery and eventually to their downfall.
Greed and misery are two nouns that come hand in hand. In The Devil and Tom Walker, Tom Walker and his wife were both very miserly beings. They had stingy and quarrelsome personalities and had tendencies to horde objects and money. The two lived distant from others and like to stay isolated(243). They were in essence human representations of the word “greedy”. Though they were married and very alike they actually despised each other. They would get in arguments and had a lack of trust. The lack was so immense that they would even horde valuables from each other(243). The greed caused them to be miserable together and live a depressing life together. The greed was so bad that when Tom’s wife went missing along with some valuables he cared more about the missing object than his wife’s wellbeing. When he found the objects wrapped inside her apron on a tree Tom said, “let us get hold of the property and we will endeavor to do without the women.” This proved how far Tom’s greed actually went and what it can do to a person. He was so miserable with his wife...
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