Compare And Contrast The Devil And Tom Walker

1692 Words7 Pages

Aishwarya Pedapati
2 March, 2023
Block 4B/D
Romantic Literary Analysis Essay
The Day and Night of Literary Pieces Traditional and dark American romanticism are similar and different in many aspects. Traditional romanticism focuses on individuality, thinking for themselves and making their own decisions, and escapism, optimism and hope for the future. Further, dark romanticism is more focused on the darker side of humans and displays a more gothic perspective on life but together played a huge role in the literary works of the 1800s. Two of the most famous writers whose works were based on Traditional and Dark American Romanticism were Washington Irving and Edgar Allen Poe. Irving’s “The Devil & Tom Walker,” is a traditional romantic text …show more content…

In Irving’s “The Devil & Tom Walker,” Walker becomes rich and lives as a usurer completing the devil’s bidding but “As he got older and richer, Tom began to worry [about what] would happen when he died.. He had promised his soul to the Devil. Maybe. . . maybe. . . he could break that promise. He became, therefore, all of a sudden, a violent church-goer. He prayed loudly and strenuously, as if heaven were to be taken by force of lungs(Irving 4). Walked promised his soul and to carry out the devil’s bidding in return for wealth and prosperity. As his time got closer, he wanted to break his promise and escape from the devil’s clutches by praying everyday. From this quote, it is inferred that the devil posed as a problem who has held onto him all his life. When he understood he would have to hold up his end of the deal, he tried to escape his horrid reality of becoming devil’s property by going to the church. Yet, Tom Walker still continues to work under the devil. This demonstrates escapism, a major characteristic of traditional americanism, because in the 1900s, Americans were struggling to be free from Britain and escape from their reality of being under the influence of Britain. This idea was shown in this story as the devil stood as a symbol of Britain …show more content…

In “The Devil and Tom Walker,” Irving uses symbols to embody a problem,the devil in the story, in which people during the 1900s were trying to escape issues such as disease and Europe. Not only that but he sets up a sinister atmosphere for the arrival of the devil which connects to a prevalent traditional romantic theme of supernatural forces in nature, inspired by Puritan beliefs. Furthermore, Poe uses symbolism, the masked figure, and imagery in “The Masque of the Red Death,'' to illustrate dark, threatening air in the story which brings out feelings of impending doom, thus encapsulating the essence of dark romanticism. In “The Devil and Tom Walker,” Irving uses symbols to embody a problem,the devil in the story, in which people during the 1900s were trying to escape issues such as disease and Europe. Not only that but he sets up a sinister atmosphere for the arrival of the devil which connects to a prevalent traditional romantic theme of supernatural forces in nature, inspired by Puritan beliefs. Furthermore, Poe uses symbolism, the masked figure, and imagery in “The Masque of the Red Death,'' to illustrate dark, threatening air in the story which brings out feelings of impending doom, thus encapsulating the essence of dark

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