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“The Devil and Tom Walker” Short Story by Washington Irving

There are many different negative features that are common for people of all times, be it the eighteenth or the twenty-first century. Greed, indifference, anger, corruption, immorality, and the readiness to sin for one’s own benefit destroy humans and everything good in society. To show the full horror of the prevalence of evil and greed, many famous and talented writers created their stories and tried to reason with people. Therefore, in his short story “The Devil and Tom Walker,” Washington Irving uses allegory and weaves the supernatural and real worlds together to warn all readers against the sins committed by the main character.

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Tom Walker’s greedy desires and decisions have led him to a terrible end. The writer describes the main character being taken by the devil and sentenced to eternal wandering in the form of a spirit and his wife being violently murdered by Old Scratch. After that, as a conclusion, Irving (2015) says: “let all gripping money-brokers lay this story to heart” (p. 5). Thus, by telling a story of the man who had bad relationships with his wife, betrayed people, and chose money over dignity and honor, the author tries to save the souls of real people.

Irving uses allegory and description of the devil and other supernatural forces as a powerful tool to influence more readers. In this story, two characters allowed Old Scratch to bring them to death because initially, they were both sinful and vicious in thought and deed. They did not respect and love each other, and dealing with the devil was only their desire to annoy each other and also quench the thirst for money. Therefore, using the example of the main character, Irwing criticizes society and its vices and warns people about the consequences of sins.

Reference

Irving, W. (2015). The devil and Tom Walker [PDF Document]. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, October 2). “The Devil and Tom Walker” Short Story by Washington Irving. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-devil-and-tom-walker-short-story-by-washington-irving/

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StudyCorgi. "“The Devil and Tom Walker” Short Story by Washington Irving." October 2, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-devil-and-tom-walker-short-story-by-washington-irving/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "“The Devil and Tom Walker” Short Story by Washington Irving." October 2, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-devil-and-tom-walker-short-story-by-washington-irving/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) '“The Devil and Tom Walker” Short Story by Washington Irving'. 2 October.

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