Literary Analysis: The Devil & Tom Walker Essay

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Can you imagine yourself locked up in a room with no doors? Similar to a room with no doors, there is no way out of hell if it was one's destiny. In the short story "The Devil & Tom Walker" by Washington Irving, the main character's fate is hell because of his wrong decisions in life, accepting a deal with the devil for earthly benefits. Irving reinforces his message about not making decisions that may damn your soul with the use of literary elements and figurative language. Wisely, Irving combines characterization, mood and point of view to perpetuate the theme of the story in the reader's mind.
The author continuously characterizes Tom in a way that makes the readers deride him and not want to follow the example of his like. For
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Someone so ruthless is not a good role model to copy, and the message shines through because of the tone, or the author's attitude towards a character or a subject. In addition, when Mr.Walker becomes rich because of the usury he commits, he still has the miserly quality in him: "He built himself, as usual, a vast house, out of ostentation; but left the greater part of it unfinished and un furnished, out of parsimony"(266). The passage infers indirectly that he only think of looks and not inner contents, making him despised in the reader's eyes. Someone who only cares about appearances doesn't balance between worldly life and spiritual life. So Tom is his own antagonist and people would not probably mimic an antagonist in a story.
The antagonist in the story is described with a lonely mood. The mood allows the reader to interject himself in the story. With word choice, imagery and tone, the writer develops a sad mood. For example, When Irving describes Tom's house: "They lived in a forlorn looking house, that stood alone and had an air of starvation. A few straggling savin trees, emblems of sterility, grew near it; no smoke ever curled from its chimney; no traveler stopped at its door. "(259). Words like forlorn-looking, alone, starvation, etc., give a really sad and lonely atmosphere and influence the reader's way of looking at Tom. Moreover, Irving describes Tom's horse using adjectives that gives feeling to the

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