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Devil and Tom Walker

  • Date Submitted: 05/15/2014 03:40 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64.4 
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The Devil and Tom Walker: Religious Symbolism , and Gothic Literature

This story was written in 1820 , Washington Irving's story retells the European tale of Faust, a scholar who sold his soul for wisdom. Tom Walker, Washington Irving's American Faust, has no interest in wisdom however; he only seeks money and is into fortune. Irving may have set this story in an earlier America, but he revealed the materialism of his own era. This story contains a lot of Religious Symbolism , and Gothic Literature because the story itself is an allegory meant to represent a larger or morally significant idea. The moral in this story is the struggle of being greedy, which Tom Walker is, and he was basically consumed by his own greed to the extent that he had to search for a different solution in getting his riches which was by making a deal with the Devil (Old Scratch).

The woods in this story are a symbol of Tom and his conscience. The woods are dark and hard to see past , no matter how good your eye sight is. It would be easy to get lost in them. The woods are a lot like Tom's conscience is, dark and kind of puzzled. He easily gets lost in it, as well as lost in the greed of money and power, and this makes him exceptionally easy to be classified as someone who "gets lost". He loses to the power of the devil whenever he is weak and blind over all of his own greed just because he seeks money/fortune and power. "Old Scratch" as said in the story refers to the Devil himself and in the story he is an Old man Satisfying his own "Itch" by scratching it himself. How you might ask ? It is done through all of Tom Walkers desires come to life and be real for him. Such as getting rid of his constantly

nagging wife and giving him riches/money which is what he truly craves and nothing else really. Tom Walker being a normal / average name basically shows that pretty much anyone can be manipulated by their own greed or even be influenced by the devil. However, at first Tom resisted the...


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