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In "The Devil and Tom Walker," cite one sensory detail that represents the way Tom...

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krhodes95 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 2, 2011 at 10:04 AM via web

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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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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 2, 2011 at 9:36 PM (Answer #1)

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Although the advent of Tom's wealth certainly changes his life in lots of ways, there is also ample evidence to demonstrate how he has not actually changed that much at all in his essential nature. Consider the following description of how he spends his ill-gotten gains:

He built himself, as usual, a vast house, out of ostentation; but left the greater part of it unfinished and unfurnished, out of parsimony. He even set up a carriage in the fullness of his vainglory, though he nearly starved the horses which drew it; and as the ungreased wheels groaned and screeched on the axeltrees, you would have thought you heard the sound of the poor debtors he was squeezing.

Clearly, this ludicrous description of how Tom lives his life in his newfound wealth owes much of its impact to the sensory details employed in this quote, particularly teh sound of the groaning and screeching of his carriage, which remains ungreased because of Tom's stingy nature and his unwillingness to waste money on something like grease. The way in which this onomatopoeic sound is compared to the painful cries of those he is exploiting adds a satisfying touch that completes this descriptive picture of how the changes in Tom's life still hadn't changed Tom himself.

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