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 is the relationship between Tom and his wife?

Expert Answers info

Dakota Rabbitt eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseProfessional Writer

bookB.A. from Colby College


calendarEducator since 2019

write295 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The Devil and Tom Walker” is an 1824 short story written by Washington Irving and appearing in his Tales of a Traveller collection.

Tom and his wife have a combative and secretive relationship, driven mainly by their miserly personalities. Misers care only about attaining wealth and will often live unhealthy lives as they avoid spending money at all cost. We see this later in the narrative when Tom’s horses nearly starve to death even though Tom has more than enough money to feed them.

Tom and his wife live in a dilapidated house because they refuse to spend money on repairs. The couple constantly hide money from each other and constantly conspires to raid and steal the hidden money from their partner. These actions led to fights which turn physical and passersby can hear these altercations.

When Tom is offered the deal with the devil , he tells his wife he is having second thoughts, which shows he has some degree on conscience to weigh the positives and negatives. On the other hand, his...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1,074 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ashly Hintz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12), Professional Tutor

bookB.S. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


calendarEducator since 2019

write716 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,302 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

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

mrs-campbell eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write2,159 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial