"Devil and Tom Walker"

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  • Theme
  • Characterization
  • Point of View
  • The theme in "Tom Walker and the Devil" is that greed and selfishness leads to consequences. This is represented through the devil taking Tom Walker and leading him to his death due to his greed and desire for wealth. This shows romanticism because there is a strong idea of corruption and evil in society and an idea of purity in nature, which is a major idea in romanticism
  • Conflict
  • The characterization represents the ideas of romanticism because the devil represents the idea of society and the corruption it brings, and Tom represents mankind, once pure, corrupted by society. This shows the main idea of romanticism and adds the romantic style to the story
  • Romanticism 1
  • The third person point-of-view in the story, "Tom Walker and the Devil" displays romanticism by allowing a greater emphasis on the corruption of man and what it looks like from the outside. It also conveys the beauty of nature through the immense details used to describe the purity of nature and the corruption and evil of society.
  • Romanticism 2
  • The conflict in the story begins with Tom and his wife. Their anger and violence towards each other led Tom to the woods and ultimately led to both of their deaths indirectly. This displays romanticism because romanticism shows an emphasis on sadness and Tom's wife made him sad and oppressed him.
  • The first example of romanticism in the book, "Tom Walker and the Devil" is when Tom takes a rest in the forest. This shows romanticism because he is finding peace and relaxation in nature away from the oppression he is experiencing in his home and in society. The quote that shows this is, "It was late in the dusk of evening that Tom Walker reached the old fort, and he paused there for a while to rest himself (Irving 3)."
  • The second example of romanticism in the book is when Tom finds the apron with a heart and liver in it and feels relieved because he is finally free of the oppression he had been experiencing. The quote that shows this is, "Tom consoled himself for the loss of his property with the loss of his wife; for he was a man of fortitude. He even felt something like gratitude towards the black woodsman, who he considered had done him a kindness (Irving 9)." This displays romanticism because a major aspect of romanticism is individualism and freedom from oppression.
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