The Devil and Tom Walker Questions and Answers
by Washington Irving

The Devil and Tom Walker book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In "The Devil and Tom Walker," what are some examples of Romanticism (for example, nationalism and individualism)?

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write11,324 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Romanticism is tied closely to nationalism. It is associated with the rise of nationalist movements in the Italian and German states in the nineteenth century, as well as with the struggle of smaller European states for independence and autonomy. Romanticism's contribution to the rise of nationalism came through its focus on folktales and highly valuing the importance of regionalism, common people, and ethnicity.

This nationalist aspect of Romanticism emerges in Irving's story, which was part of his nation-building project as an author in a new republic. The story is unequivocally set in the United States, near Boston and the Charles River and is permeated with folklore and supernatural elements particular to the Americas. For example, early in the story, the folkore begins as the narrator mentions Kidd, the pirate, burying a treasure under a huge oak near the Charles River. The narrator then says:

The old stories add, moreover, that the devil presided at the hiding of the money, and took it...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1,118 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Rebecca Karli eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write80 answers

starTop subject is Literature

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Bridgett Sumner, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Hofstra University


calendarEducator since 2016

write1,749 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

McKinstry Rose eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write1,976 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial