The Devil and Tom Walker

Topics: The Crucible, Allegory, Puritan Pages: 3 (1092 words) Published: June 28, 2008
Steven Neale 1/18/00

"The Devil and Tom Walker" by Washington Irving, "The Minister's Black Veil," by Hawthorne, and The Crucible, by Arthur Miller all share similar themes and they all use different genres and forms to help express the story's theme. The three stories all comment on Puritan beliefs and the nature of man, and they deal with the fear of the unknown and not wanting to face the truths. "The Devil and Tom Walker" is a folk tale, which uses satire to describe Puritan beliefs. "The Minister's Black Veil" is a parable and an allegory, where the people and objects in the story all symbolize something. The Crucible is a historical drama, which deals with Puritan beliefs directly and in a serious matter.

" The Devil and Tom Walker is a folk tale which teaches a lesson and uses stock characters. The idea of stock characters is present in the character of Tom, meaning he never undergoes any change throughout the story. This story uses a lot of imagery and alliteration to help describe the forest and Tom's house. For example, when Tom is walking through the woods, it is described, as a place that is "dark at noonday" and "the swamp was thickly grown with great gloomy pines and hemlocks." The author gives a dark mood to the story by using so much imagery with the forest. When Tom makes the deal with the Devil and begins to make money and not care about anything else, the author is mocking society and its obsession with material things like money. Tom doesn't even care when he finds out his wife was killed by the Devil, he even makes a joke saying she probably gave him a good fight. The story takes place just outside of Boston in the woods and it also deals with the presence of the Devil, which shows its relationship with the Crucible. Tom is also recognized as a violent churchgoer and he only goes to church for his benefit, he is only looking for protection from the Devil. Ironically just before the Devil comes to take Tom he was...
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