The Devil And Tom Walker Essay examples

1404 Words Dec 21st, 2015 6 Pages
The Devil and Tom Walker is a short story that teaches the readers a valuable lesson. The lesson learned, or moral, that Washington Irving is trying to portray in this story is that greed leads you down the wrong path and self-destruction. Tom Walker and his wife had an unhappy marriage. Tom was known as a miser, his wife would hide food from him, and she is described as "fierce of temper," "loud of tongue," and "strong of arm." He was eager to go into the woods to escape from their bitter relationship, but only for a short break. When Tom digs up an old skull, he summons the devil who presents an offer to him. In exchange for his soul he can have all the treasure that is said to have been buried by Captain Kidd. Tom declines the first offer, but once his wife decides to try to accept the offer and the devil punishes her, Tom is quick to accept the second time. Balking at the devil 's suggestion of becoming a slave-trader, Tom decides that he will become a usurer, or a moneylender, since gaining the treasure is dependent upon being employed in the devil 's service. Tom immediately begins business in a “counting shop” in Boston and attains great wealth by cheating people out of their money and charging them outrageous interest. When Tom grows old, he begins to worry about the terms of his deal with the devil and suddenly becomes a "violent church-goer" in an effort to cheat the devil out of receiving his soul. He reads the bible obsessively and prays loudly and long in…

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