Describes the concept of evil that Washington Irving uses in his literary work THE DEVIL AND TOM WALKER

Essay by xotaraxoA, April 2002

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Evil In "The Devil and Tom Walker"

The concept of evil in the short story "The Devil and Tom Walker" can be shown in many ways, by Irvings' symbolism. In the short story, " Tom Walker" symbolizes all of mankind by portraying him as being "sinful" and evil. When there is an intent to destroy, then we get a different level of hatred. We see that good vs. evil has been a theme that is ubiquitous in many writings.

Some people would do anything to obtain wealth. In the story, The Devil and Tom Walker, Tom Walker did just that. Set in the New England region of the United States, around 1726, the story begins using the literary device of foreshadowing in

stating that the majority of all short cuts are "ill-chosen" routes. In the above statement, the reader acknowledges that by choosing the shortest path, Tom has doomed himself.

Venturing through the forest late one evening, and in no hurry to get home to an equally miserable wife, Tom comes upon an old Indian fort. Here he encounters the devil manifested as a dark man. The dark man promises Tom great riches in exchange for his services as a user of his money.

Greedily, and with no thought to the consequences of his actions, Tom makes a bargain with the dark man. Tom lived for many years as a very rich and influential man in the town, but as he got older, Tom started to realize that the devil would come for his due. The thought of an eternity of damnation frightened poor Tom to no end, and he became very religious; but it was a false, last minute religion. One night, while Tom was sinning in business, he foolishly invited the devil to...