Essay about Hop Frog By Edgar Allan Poe And The Devil And Tom Walker

1021 Words 5 Pages
“A good [short story] would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit.” (Sedaris) Of the many works published in the 19th century, Hop-Frog by Edgar Allan Poe and The Devil and Tom Walker by Washington Irving are some of the most well known and thought provoking. Whereas Hop-Frog is a short story about a king, his seven ministers, and the king’s jester, Hop-Frog, who exacts his revenge in a gruesome and ghastly way, The Devil and Tom Walker consists of a greedy man who makes a deal with the devil in exchange for a lavish lifestyle. On a superficial level, these two short narratives may appear to have nothing in common, but upon a closer look, many parallels can be seen. The most explicit similarities and differences are evidenced by each story’s characters, conflicts, and themes.
If one were to attempt to compare and contrast the main characters of both tales, they would be hard pressed to find much resemblance. Comparing Tom Walker to the King, on the other hand, offers many parallels. The king is greedy, selfish, and blind. This can be seen by his love of sumptuous parties and food, the fact that he believes the suffering of others to be a mere joke, and his thinking that he’s very clever when, in actuality, he was being manipulated by Hop-Frog. “But the king loved his practical jokes, and took pleasure in forcing Hop-Frog to drink and (as the king called it) ‘to be merry.’” (Poe) Showing no regard for the feelings of others,…

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