Students will examine several motifs and symbols and interpret how they suggest moral decay in the characters and their society. By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
Irving is likely suggesting that sinful behavior always comes full circle and ends in punishment.
While the land jobber and others are not entirely blameless in their attempts to get rich quickly, Tom has actively manipulated his relationships with others to maximize his profits. In fact, it seems that many in New England are looking for ways to get rich quick regardless of the moral cost.
A couple of these have no moral lesson associated with them, but notice how the one he chooses has the most prominent moralistic message of all: This is an example of how the narrator is using the storytelling medium to relay messages about moral lessons to the readers.
This willingness to let her husband damn himself represents a complete lack of concern for morals or spiritual well-being and reinforces the dangers of greed and moral corruption. The fact that many of the names on the trees are powerful figures reinforces the notion that power and wealth invariably leads to moral corruption.
The presence of the fort attests to how war and therefore greed ultimately results in nothing but ruin and loss. By saying that the devil is always guarding money, particularly stolen money, Irving uses the devil to show how temptation and greed ruin the lives of those who seek wealth above all else.
Irving is likely suggesting, through a bit of dark humor and satire, that even in this town of Puritan Christians, dealing with the devil is not altogether an uncommon occurrence and there are many sinful and hypocritical people in this society.
The actually sinful Absalom Crowninshield was praised as a pious man at the time of his death despite his vulgar displays of the wealth that he acquired through disreputable means. However, it is worth noting that the story depicts European Americans as devil worshippers because they act on their greed and corrupt themselves.
The swamp is dark and dangerous, but it also has a seductive allure with the promise of wealth and hidden treasure. The shortcut in the swamp symbolizes these shortcuts people try to use to get ahead in the world.
However, such paths often contain risks and complications, in this case not only economic ones, but perhaps ones that lead to eternal damnation. Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor.In “The Devil and Tom Walker,” Washington Irving adapts the Faustian legend of selling one’s soul, writing it as a folk tale within the context of the history of New England.
Like Faust, Tom comes to regret the bargain he makes with the devil and pays the highest price for his greed. Nov 18, · The theme may involve greed, evil, and/or hypocrisy Tom is greedy enough not to want to share his wealth with his wife so he calls off the deal.
Greed drives the plot of "The Devil and Tom Walker." Tom and his wife, two miserly people unhappy in their marriage, encounter the devil in the swamp outside Boston. At first, Tom refuses to make.
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background The story of Tom Walker is a variation on the legend of Faust, a 16th- century magician and astrologer who was said to have sold his soul to the devil for wisdom, money, and power.
The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Greed appears in each chapter of The Devil and Tom Walker. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis.