Good and Evil in The Devil and Tom Walker

Good and Evil in The Devil and Tom Walker

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Good and Evil in The Devil and Tom Walker


The concept of evil in the short story "The Devil and Tom

Walker" can be shown in many ways, by Irvings' symbolism.

In the short story, Tom Walker symbolizes all of mankind by

portraying him as being "sinful" and evil. When there is an intent

to destroy, then we get a different level of hatred. We see that

good vs. evil has been a theme that is ubiquitous in many


The story "The Devil and Tom Walker" is a story about a man

who lives an immoral life of greed. Walker lives in a wooded area,

where it is solemn, and quiet area of New England. Walker runs

into the devil and sees that the devil is cutting down someone

else's timber. The evil is shown, by the devil in how he is

premeditating the murder of a "Deacon Peabody". Walker

contemplates this meeting with the devil, and recognizes that evil

is wealth is the first priority for him.

Tom Walker's wife, was filled with cupidity and wanted to

acquire the gold that the devil had promised. Walker hadn't

obliged to his wife, and due to his wife's acute cupidity set out

on her own journey to acquire that gold. She had been killed

because of her greed, and lack of morals for self-prosperity,

which resulted in her death. This is an important example of the

use of evil within "The Devil and Tome Walker".

Walker is told from the devil that he could earn money

through usury and extortion. Walker commits to usury and makes a

generous sum of money. Walker has no repentance for such a sin

and continues to his usury. The evil accumulates in the story as

Walker accumulates more and more money, resulting from more and

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more greed. The accumulation of this money leads to a climactic

point where Walker is fed up with his accumulation of money, and

askes to be taken by the devil.

Consequently, the devil "takes" Walker to hell. The evil is

eloquently represented by Walker "selling himself to the devil",

and his inability to understand that materiel possessions couldn't

be taken to the next world (after death).

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