What is the rising action of "The Devil and Tom Walker"?  

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The rising action in "The Devil and Tom Walker" by Washington Irving consists of all the events that take place between the devil and Tom before the turning point of the story when Tom refuses to pay the devil his due share of the profits.  Tom first meets the devil while walking through a detour in the swamp, and here their relationship begins.  Later, the devil presumably kills Tom's wife and men in town who are guilty of bad acts.  The devil senses Tom's greed and proposes that they strike a bargain.  The action rises as Tom agrees to become a usurer for the devil--Tom believes that he is going to get rich, while the reader understands that Tom has made an unbreakable pact with the devil.  Tom does become wealthy, and his greedy acts continue to make the action of the story rise.  This heightened tension is then challenged when the devil comes to reclaim the money and Tom must make a choice.  His refusal to submit to the devil ends the rising action and the turning point in the story occurs.

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The Devil and Tom Walker

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