What does Tom's agreement with the devil tell you about Tom?

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tom Walker makes a pact with the devil to become rich.  It's clear that Tom Walker is greedy, selfish, and that he lives for the present with little thought about the future.  He is only slightly hesitant to make the pact and only slightly bothered by the fact that he was speaking with the devil.  When his wife disappears his concern was for the valuable items she took with her and not for her well-being.  When he finds the items she took with her and what appears to be her heart and liver, he is happy that he recovered the items.  Obviously, he has more concern for his possessions than he does for his wife.  When he makes his money and the devil finally comes and it's time for Tom to fulfill his end of the bargain, Tom "...shrank back...", indicating that he didn't want to fulfill his part.  He had no choice in the matter though.  Tom Walker only wanted money, what his money could give him, and he didn't think about the consequences of his actions beyond the present time.

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The Devil and Tom Walker

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