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The Devil And Tom Walker Greed Quotes

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The Devil and Tom Walker Essay
Greed can be expressed in a variety of ways, the most common of which is materialism, or an obsession with material things. Greed has many negative consequences, some of which include misery and moral corruption. "The Devil and Tom Walker," written by Washington Irving, shows this repeated theme. By using this theme, the author creates an eerie yet foreboding mood, using descriptive words for the setting. In this story, the main character, Tom Walker, makes a deal with the devil, selling his soul in exchange for becoming a usurer. Later on, this leads to many other repercussions, such as remorse and the passing of his wife. Irving’s story, "The Devil and Tom Walker," utilizes language, imagery, and characterization …show more content…

The ominous and foreboding tone that is evoked from the setting that is vividly described is very effective. He uses eminently descriptive words that mainly have a negative connotation. "Tom had long been picking his way through the treacherous forest..." is a quote that depicts this idea perfectly. From this, we can infer that the rest of the story will maintain the eerie mood. Describing the place he is journeying amongst, he states "Anyone but he would have felt unwilling to linger in this lonely melancholy place…" This is perceived to induce grim sorrow. The theme of greed ties into this as it is seen that he will put himself and the people around him …show more content…

He writes paragraph-long descriptions of Tom’s ambiance and the people he encounters. Towards the beginning of the story, he states, "or pacing carefully, like a cat, along the prostrate trunks of trees." Using this specific wording creates imagery and assists in understanding his actions. When the word "pacing" is used instead of a word such as "walking," it gives a completely different effect and a better sense of the uneasiness that he feels in this environment. Later on, the text states, while describing his surroundings, that there is "an air of starvation." Using personification in this quote invokes a feeling that we can experience when we are famished. It helps the air be pictured with a sense of desolation, implying that this is not healthy air to breathe and therefore, an unhappy environment. Lastly, he describes the devil’s voice as "gruffy" and gives a lengthy description of his garments and appearance. From this, we can get a sense of characterization and how this specific character will act later on in the story.
The two main characters, the Devil, also referred to as "the black man," and Tom Walker, both very evidently portray the subject of greed. Tom, who is already stated to be materialistic, seems as if he will never be satisfied. He ended up selling his soul to the devil, not realizing the regret he would experience in the near future. He guarantees eternal damnation in exchange

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