Damnation In 'The Devil And Tom Walker And The Black Cat'

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Damnation and Salvation are two actions, which define a person’s mortal soul’s standing. Both are on opposite sides of the spectrum, which involve either turning away from, or embracing God. Instances of protagonists rejecting God can be found in the short stories, The Devil and Tom Walker by Washington Irving, The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe, and, The Storm by Kate Chopin. All three stories show examples of people following their afflictions, which lead them toward damnation rather than salvation. In, The Devil and Tom Walker, by Washington Irving, the protagonist, Tom is lead into damnation by the Devil himself. Tom knew when he asked for riches that, “there was one condition” (Irving 9) that was needed to make a deal with the Devil. …show more content…

In this instance, it is clear that the protagonist is damned. By hanging and maiming animals, then later having his house burned down, the protagonist is shown to not be getting away with his sins. The burned house was found to have a burn mark of “a rope about [a cat’s] neck” (Poe 61), showing the reader that the man did one “get one over on God” and that God did truly see that that man is sinning and is not approved of. Following the omen from God, the man reflects on his mistakes and has his guilt keep him awake at night, Although this is a sign of redemption, this man is not feeling guilty for the right reasons, simply, the man is guilty for being caught, not the action itself. The man does not learn his lesson and continues to sin by being filled with “rage, more than demonical” (Poe 63), which causes him to kill his wife. By describing the man as being filled with demonic rage, the author alludes to the protagonist in the story as turning away from God just as Lucifer, the first demon, has done. Concluding, the man did not accept that it was his doing by killing his wife and cat. This shows that he has not grown as a person and continues to blame others for his problems, in this instance, blaming the cat for the discovering of his dead wife’s body. The man wishes for God to “deliver [him] from the fangs of the Arch-Fiend” (Poe 65), the fiend being the devil. This shows the man’s

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