The Devil and Tom Walker Questions and Answers
by Washington Irving

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Do you think Tom could have escaped the consequences of his bargain with Old Scratch in "The Devil and Tom Walker"?

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Tom Walker's behavior before he met "Old Scratch" was consistent with his behavior after he met him. He was obsessed with money and material goods, and he chronically battled with his wife because she was equally greed-obsessed. He was an unpleasant, discontented man, and the fights with his wife could be heard by anyone passing their home. Moreover, when Old Scratch set him up to be a money lender, Tom Walker doubled the rate of interest that the devil suggested. He starved his horses because he was too tight-fisted with his money to buy feed for them. Judging from these many actions, it is fair to say that Tom Walker was likely doomed to lose his soul to the devil before he even met him and struck the bargain. There is nothing in his behavior to suggest that he would ever be anything but greedy and unconcerned with the needs of others.

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No. In my opinion, Tom could not have escaped the consequences of his bargain with Old Scratch. When...

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