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What are three supernatural elements in The Devil and Tom Walker by Washington Irving?

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inquisitivest... | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 19, 2009 at 11:54 PM via web

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What are three supernatural elements in The Devil and Tom Walker by Washington Irving?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 21, 2009 at 5:17 AM (Answer #1)

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The first supernatural element in the story would be the devil, himself.  His image cannot be explained with any scientific accounts, and his presence conjures up the image of "the other side."  Another supernatural element in the story is the climax.  When Tom speaks to God, begging him to be spared, it is almost as if God was listening and his response was the devil's presence at the door.  When Tom was picked up by the devil, it was in the dark knight, away from the perceptive eyes of others.  This is supernatural, in that it retains a sense of mystery and the unknown.  The ending of the story, when Tom's house is burned and his financial record are cinders also retains some element of the supernatural, something that cannot be explained or justified through rational thought.  The element of the unexplained pervades the story.

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