The Devil and Tom Walker Questions - Romanticism Unit
1. Is Tom brave for going into the woods? What does this tell us about the type of literary character he is? No, he was not brave. He was lazy. He is static and round.
2. What characteristics of the wife suggest that she already belongs to the devil and that he will get her without having to bargain? She beats him and steals his stuff and yells at him.
3. What discovery gives Tom a clue about his wife’s fate?
When he finds her heart and liver in the tree
4. What is the cypress tree traditionally associated with (google it)? Why is this tree a good symbol for Irving to use in this story? Death, mourning, grave yards and stuff.
5. “The great speculating fever which breaks out every now and then in the country” is a comment about what? Our society going crazy about money. They wanted to borrow money but they couldn’t pay it back. 6. What is hypocritical about Tom by the end of the story?
He is mean to people even though he reads the bible every day and pretends to be religious 7. After Tom disappears, what happens to his wealth?
All of his bonds and mortgages were found reduced to cinders 8. Irving associated MA with the Salem witch trials. Examine the paragraph describing Tom as a “violent churchgoer”. A. In what ways is this paragraph a satirical comment on Puritans? B. What words and phrases in the paragraph link religion to “money matters”?
9. What is ironic in this story?
He didn’t want to make a deal with the devil in the beginning, but he ended up making a deal. 10. What Romantic traits and characteristics are evident in this short story?
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