The Devil And Tom Walker Allegory Analysis

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The Allegory of The Devil and Tom Walker
In the story, “The Devil and Tom Walker”, the author, Washington Irving, uses symbolic devices, and farfetched stories in order to convey to the audience a hidden meaning. Irving claims the story was just a, “legend”, but from further examination in the text the audience can conclude that this story is an allegory. The main character, Tom Walker is portrayed as an epitome for greed, and is shown how this theme can corrupt someone's life. Throughout the story there are many symbolic clues Irving includes to hint to this story being an allegory. A famous critic wrote about this allegory, “Irving certainly never intended “The Devil and Tom Walker” to be taken as a folktale. His purpose was to produce an entertaining fast-moving story based largely on German folk motifs and firmly rooted in an American locale.” (Elizabeth Marton 54). On the contrary to Irving's thoughts at the time, this story in modern day society is portrayed as not only a classic example of romanticism, but as a famous allegory showing how greed can corrupt someone’s life. In this story, “The Devil and Tom …show more content…

Though Irving never meant for this story to be more than just that, his deliberate choice of characters and settings created the perfect scenario for this story to occur. It is undeniable that the major theme of this story is greed, and the consequences that being too greedy can have on a person’s life. This can be seen even when the situation is taken to the extreme like it was in this story. Had Irving used different characters and different settings this story would not convey the same effect to the reader as it does now. It is only through Washington Irving's vivid imagery, and symbolic characters, accompanied by their conflicts, that proved that greed was the underlying meaning of this allegory, “The Devil and Tom

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