Moral Allegory: A ethical allegory conveys a moral message through symbolic figures, imagery, and plots that give moral retribution come immoral characters. “The Devil and Tom Walker” contains a ethical allegory that supplies a warning against greed and the quest of earthly gain. In this story, sinful habits is met through punishment, and also the devil controls the souls that those thrust by wealth.

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Moral Corruption: Tom Walker and also his mam embody moral corruption, greed, and also hypocritical religion. They are both willing to sacrifice the other for material gain. Tom manipulates his friendships v others to take benefit of castle in his business, and also he uses false religion to appear like an upstanding citizen. Tom and also his wife both endure retribution in ~ the hands of the devil, emphasizing the story’s design template that moral corruption ends in punishment and damnation.

Social Commentary: Irving’s story makes strong social commentary against the slave trade and religious persecution. Even Tom, a character moved by greed and also self interest, will certainly not communicate in the slave trade. This is a solid condemnation the the institution of slavery. Spiritual persecution of Anabaptists and also Quakers is shown as satisfaction to the devil, saying that squabbles amongst sects the Christianity serve the devil, no the community.


Themes instances in The Devil and Tom Walker:


message of the Story 🔒 21

"Let every gripping money-brokers lay this story to heart...." check out in text(Text of the Story)


Irving composed this story in the format of a folktale, and also these varieties of stories space usually allegories that signify larger problems of human being nature. Tom"s pact with the devil, his sinful actions, and his religious hypocrisy, every reveal how Irving believes such actions will it is in punished, and also he has his narrator end the tale with an appropriate warning.


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"into the black color hemlock swamp toward the old Indian fort..." view in text(Text of the Story)


The old Indian ft is not just where Tom an initial made a attend to the devil yet is additionally the gateway to hell. Irving is likely saying that sinful behavior constantly comes complete circle and also ends in punishment.


"his big Bible on the desk buried under the mortgage that was about to foreclose..." check out in text(Text the the Story)


Simply having actually the Bible roughly the house doesn"t assist hypocrites choose Tom once the adversary comes knocking at his door. Irving captures this idea perfectly by having actually the scriptures buried under the soil jobber"s mortgage the Tom is around to foreclose, revealing Tom"s genuine priorities.


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"for who he had actually professed the best friendship..." see in text(Text the the Story)


One the the reasons Tom has actually been so efficient at driving civilization into inevitable debt is that he pretends come be your friends and also have their best interests at heart. If the land jobber and also others room not completely blameless in their attempts to get rich quickly, Tom has actively manipulated his relationships v others to maximize his profits.


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"everyone pushed to raise money by desperate means..." check out in text(Text the the Story)


Irving shows that Tom and also his wife space not the only world in the area who are greedy. In fact, it seems that numerous in brand-new England are trying to find ways to obtain rich fast regardless of the moral cost. The resulting financial depression makes people an ext desperate for money, which works in Tom"s favor. He"s may be to loan money at even more exorbitant rates due to the fact that people space willing to deal with him also on poor terms.


"but the adversary himself could not tempt him to turn slave-trader...." see in text(Text of the Story)


Even despite Tom appears to not have any type of moral qualms around dealing v the devil out the greed, that refuses to interact in the slave trade. This suggests just just how morally outrageous and awful together a profession is, and it is one of the story"s most noticeable moral accusations. Interestingly, Tom"s refusal here is likewise his only act of grace in the tale.


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"The many current and also probable story..." watch in text(Text the the Story)


The narrator supplies several various versions that what possibly happened to Tom"s wife. A pair of these have no ethical lesson connected with them, but notification how the one that chooses has the most influential moralistic post of all: the punishment because that greed and also dealing with the adversary is damnation. This is an instance of exactly how the narrator is utilizing the storytelling tool to relay messages about moral lessons come the readers.


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"she urged she husband come comply..." view in text(Text of the Story)


Tom"s wife is perfectly contents to permit her husband to sacrifice himself for the services of financial gain, and also she pressures him to execute it. This willingness come let she husband damn himself represents a finish lack of problem for morals or spirituality well-being and also reinforces the risks of greed and also moral corruption.


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"What these conditions were may be easily surmised..." see in text(Text that the Story)


Readers acquainted with a Faustian cheap and/or church doctrine understand that the just possession the the devil typically wants come barter for are human souls. It"s feasible that the narrator doesn"t say this explicitly due to the fact that the very thought of someone gift so greedy the he"d offer his soul for sweetheart or material gain is as well horrific.


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"I amuse myself by presiding at the persecutions..." view in text(Text that the Story)


Since the Quakers and Anabaptists are an especially strict sects the Christianity, the devil would uncover it funny to view these groups persecuted by other Christians due to the fact that they would certainly be some of the the very least likely come commit sinful offenses. The devil"s satisfied at this persecution emphasizes exactly how hypocritical the plot of Christians versus one one more are, since they just serve the devil"s evil will quite than the an excellent of the community.


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"The best of a former claim..." watch in text(Text of the Story)


The idea behind this explain (and, perhaps, the story itself) is the ownership is one illusion. Only the adversary truly own these things in the physics world, and also he supplies them to tempt people to eternal damnation, prefer he"s done through Peabody and Crowninshield. The devil"s swamp shows the ethical corruption that society"s leaders and also foreshadows your damnation. The truth that plenty of of the names on the tree are an effective figures reinforces the id that power and also wealth invariably leader to moral corruption.


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"Deacon Peabody be damned..." see in text(Text the the Story)


While Deacon Peabody may own the physics swamp, it"s clear the the devil has spiritual ownership of the accursed grounds. The evil one reveals that Deacon Peabody in reality belongs to the devil due to the fact that of just how he hypocritically scrutinizes his neighbors’ sins and doesn"t watch after his own. The tree through Peabody"s name on it demonstrates exactly how on the exterior the guy might show up successful if on the inside he is rotten and corrupt.


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"place in this critical foothold of the Indian warriors...." check out in text(Text the the Story)


War is a really violent expression of human being greed because it is often committed because that the desire of another"s material possessions. The visibility of the ft attests to how war (and thus greed) eventually results in nothing yet ruin and also loss.


"he constantly does with buried treasure, particularly when it has actually been ill-gotten...." check out in text(Text of the Story)


Irving presents among his themes through the devil"s visibility at the burying of Kidd"s treasure: greed and also the moral injury it causes. Through saying the the adversary is always guarding money, an especially stolen money, Irving offers the devil to show how temptation and also greed ruin the stays of those who look for wealth above all else.


"The good people of Boston shook their heads and also shrugged their shoulders..." view in text(Text the the Story)


Even despite Tom was brought off by the evil one in a spectacular way, the Bostonians don"t seem come react very strongly come this event. Irving is most likely suggesting, v a little bit of dark humor and satire, that also in this city of Puritan Christians, taking care of the adversary is not altogether an unusual occurrence and there are many sinful and also hypocritical civilization in this society.


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"Old Scratch should have had actually a challenging time that it!"..." watch in text(Text of the Story)


The reality that Tom"s shrewish mam was for this reason vicious v the devil, and the reality that Tom rather pities "Old Scratch," shows exactly how Irving not only supplies the story to provide moral instruction, yet he additionally believes the by including humor, literature deserve to be morally instructive and entertaining in ~ the same time.


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"and every portable write-up of value...." view in text(Text that the Story)


The devil has Tom’s mam sacrifice the points that room of the highest possible value to her: the household’s silver and also other an important items. In one more darkly humorous instance of greed corrupting one"s morals, Tom cares no for his wife"s well-being and also misses the silver- far an ext than his wife.


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"Absalom Crowninshield, the affluent buccaneer...." watch in text(Text of the Story)


Ironically, these civilization in this story that obtain the devil"s note are not outcasts but leaders the society, which suggests how spiritually corrupt culture is. The in reality sinful Absalom Crowninshield was praised together a pious male at the time of his death despite his vulgar screens of the wealth that he obtained through disreputable means.


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"that the savages hosted incantations here and also made sacrifices..." watch in text(Text that the Story)


The idea the the American Indians worship the evil one conforms to the racist perception of indigenous Americans once the story to be written. However, the is worth noting the the story depicts european Americans as adversary worshippers due to the fact that they action on your greed and also corrupt themselves. From this perspective, it"s clear that the homesteaders are no more moral 보다 the aboriginal Americans; they are simply better about lying to themselves around their own immorality.


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"there was a good amount that treasure..." check out in text(Text that the Story)


The description of the inlet and also swamp and the inclusion of the devil introduce the story"s themes of ethical corruption and also greed while all at once helping develop a dark and also mysterious tone because that the story. The swamp is dark and dangerous, however it additionally has a seductive allure with the promise that wealth and also hidden treasure.


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"Like most short-cuts, it to be an ill-chosen route..." view in text(Text that the Story)


Irving has actually Tom pedestrian take a faster way to talk about cheating or seeking the quickest means to wealth—providing an additional example of just how Tom is therefore greedy that he cut corners because that his own acquire when others wouldn"t. The faster way in the swamp symbolizes this shortcuts people shot to use to obtain ahead in the world. However, together paths often contain risks and complications, in this situation not only financial ones, but perhaps persons that cause eternal damnation.

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