Similarities Between The Devil And Tom Walker And The Fall Of The House Of Usher

1095 Words5 Pages

Lyndon B. Johnson once said, “I’d rather give my life than be afraid to give it.” This quote corresponds to Irving's “The Devil and Tom Walker” through Tom not fearing the devil due to his wife’s cruelty, and Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” through Roderick not being afraid of his illness but of its result. Throughout the texts, both authors use a gothic mood and different literary items (foreshadowing and satire) to create fear. Both authors use intense moods at the beginning of both texts. The foreboding mood in “The Devil and Tom Walker” first institutes fear in the opening paragraph by introducing the pirate's cursed treasure. In the folktale “Hanged for a Pirate” (Irving 1) The devil's death provides fear in the reader's perspective. …show more content…

The depressing mood in “The Fall of the House of Usher” also insinuates fear in the opening paragraph by describing the atmosphere and appearance of the house. Poe uses “dull, dark and soundless” (Poe 1) descriptive words to describe the atmosphere around the Usher house. He explains the “clouds [hanging] oppressively low” (Poe 1) and the sense of “insufferable gloom” (Poe 1) coming from the house. Poe employs this to set a melancholy tone and prepare the reader for the gloomy description of how the usher house appears, which the reader will find expected. The usher house is personified as a person by its “bleak walls…vacant eye-like windows…rank sedges… And…decayed trees-with an absolute depression of soul” (Poe 1) That creates a creepy atmosphere. The reader learns later in the narrative that the house represents Roderick's psychological and physical appearance. In “The Devil and Tom Walker'', the house is similar to the usher house because it is dying and decaying. Tom and his wife's house is …show more content…

Irving used satire to both make the narrative more humorous and to demonstrate how deviant the characters are. For instance, Tom and his wife's antagonistic, loveless connection satirizes marriage as a social institution while also making fun of both individuals' horrible natures. Irving, the author of “The Devil and Tom Walker" utilizes satire to make fun of marriage, faith, slave trades, and religousness in his narrative. The events of this tale occur in Boston sometime in the 1700s. Irving mocks established faiths, other varieties of religion, and the slave trade. In paragraph 2, it is revealed that “they even conspire to cheat each other” (Irving 2) although they are married. It is also said that to the point that "a hen could not cackle but she was on the alert to secure the new-laid egg," (Irving 2) Tom's wife would steal all of their belongings and was so competitive with him that "[anything] the woman could lay her hands on, she hid away." (Irving 2) Marriage is usually a bond between two individuals however, this demonstrates their competition and greed toward one another in their marriage. In paragraph 7, Tom reveals he would be willing to sell his soul to the devil. However, he was “determined not to do so to oblige his wife; so he flatly refused, out of the mere spirit of contradiction.” (Irving 7) This

Open Document