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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tom Walker and his wife are both miserable, greedy individuals, who enjoy arguing and upsetting each other. Tom's wife is described as being a termagant woman, who continually hides valuables from her husband. Similarly, Tom is a rather antagonistic person and is constantly trying to discover his wife's secret stash. The most prominent character trait that the two characters share throughout the story is their avarice. Tom Walker willingly exchanges his soul for wealth after meeting Old Scratch in the swamp. Upon hearing the news of Tom's meeting with the devil, his wife encourages him to sell his soul and even visits Old Scratch on her own in hopes of making a deal. Community members also go out their way to avoid both characters and they are known throughout town for their miserable personalities. They also enjoy provoking each other and Tom purposefully refuses to immediately sell his soul to spite his wife. Overall, Tom and his wife are both greedy, malicious individuals, who live miserable lives and are willing to sell their souls for money.

renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

They are two of the most miserable human beings ever known. They live to make one another's lives miserable. The only reason that Tom does not take the devil up on his proposal is to spite his wife, not because he has any conscience or worry for the state of his soul.

His wife is equally uncaring of her husband. She had planned to go out for herself, and gets herself killed. Tom does not mourn his wife's grisly death, but it would be a fair assumption to say that she would not have spent any time mourning his death, either.

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The Devil and Tom Walker

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