At a glance:
- Author: Washington Irving
- First Published: 1824
- Type of Plot: Regional
- Time of Work: The eighteenth century
- Setting: Massachusetts Colony
- Characters: Tom Walker, Tom’s Wife, Old Scratch
- Genres: Short fiction, Regional fiction
- Subjects: Superstition, Slavery or slaves, Religion, Poverty or poor people, Greed, Faustian bargains, Devils or demons, Materialism, Satan or Satanism
- Locales: United States, Massachusetts, American colonies, North America
This tale, which was told to the narrator, Geoffrey Crayon, during a peaceful afternoon of fishing, begins with a local legend concerning treasure buried by the notorious pirate Captain Kidd in a swamp not far from Boston. Near this swamp, in 1727, lives a miserly fellow named Tom Walker and his wife, a woman as miserly as he. These two, so greedy that they even try to cheat each other, are constantly fighting, and Tom’s face shows the physical marks of their arguments.
One day, cutting through the swamp, Tom comes across the remains of an old Indian...
(The entire page is 1563 words.)
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- In "The Devil and Tom Walker," in what ways is this story a satire?
- In “The Devil and Tom Walker” what do you think the stranger is implying by the trees marked with names?
- In "The Devil and Tom Walker," why didn't Tom's religious efforts aid him when it was time for the devil to come for him?
- In The Devil and Tom Walker, how does the physical setting of the story reflect the moral decay of the characters?
- In "The Devil and Tom Walker," cite one sensory detail that represents the way Tom lived after he gained his fortune.
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