In “The Devil and Tom Walker,” author Washington Irving emphasizes the moral consequences of indulgence in pecuniary materialism by revealing the detrimental effects of Tom Walker’s avarice.
Evidence: In the end of the story, Tom Walker is taken by the Devil on horseback and never returns to foreclose the mortgage. The truth of his death is unknown, but witnesses from the town mentioned that the forest in which the horse had galloped into was set ablaze by a lightning bolt (8).
Analysis: Tom Walker’s death is a consequence of his selfishness and sole focus on wealth. By binding his life to the works of the devil, he gave up the value and longevity of his life in order to gain more wealth.
Evidence: “On searching his coffers all his bonds and mortgages were found reduced to cinders. In place of gold and silver his iron chest was filled with chips and shavings; two skeletons lay in his stable instead of his half starved horses, and the very next day his great house took fire and was burnt to the ground” (8).
Analysis: Tom Walker sold his soul to the devil, in which he connived...
“Having secured the good things of this world, he began to feel anxious about those of the next. He thought with regret on the bargain he had made with his black friend, and set his wits to work to cheat him out of the conditions. He became, therefore, all of a sudden, a violent church goer. He prayed loudly and strenuously as if heaven were to be taken by force of lungs” (7).
Analysis: For years Tom Walker deceived countless distressed and innocent people for their money. However, after many years Tom Walker becomes guilty and paranoid of the potential consequences for his acquisitive nature. Tom attempts to compensate for actions by regularly attending church and religiously carrying a bible out of all times out of paranoia. Despite his efforts to slightly better is depravities, Tom Walker is still overtaken by fear and ultimately seized by the devil never to return...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document