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The Devil and Tom Walker

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In the story “The Devil and Tom Walker” good vs evil is shown in Tom Walker. Tom is a man in the 18th century who was a very bad man who sold his soul to the devil for money. “The Devil and Tom Walker” was written by Washington Irving and the character I have chosen is Tom Walker. Tom Walker is a lonely man because he is greedy, miserly, and mean.

Tom Walker is a greedy man because he always wants more money. A quote from the story that shows his greed is, (184) ¶ 2 “Finding Tom so squeamish on this point, he did not insist upon it, but proposed instead that he should turn usurer; the devil being extremely anxious for the increase of usurers, looking upon them as his peculiar people.” This shows his greed because he gives his soul to the devil for money. When the devil suggests he charge 2 percent per month, Tom says no he will charge 4 percent instead. Another quote from the story to show that Tom is greedy is, (188) ¶ 5 “Tom consoled himself for the loss of his property with the loss of his wife; for he was a man of fortitude. He even felt something like gratitude towards the black woodsman, who he considered had done him a kindness.” This shows Tom’s greed because he didn’t even care that his wife was gone, it meant that he would not have to share with her.

Tom Walker is miserly because he never spends money on anything. He is miserly and it is shown this quote, (184) ¶2 “He had a wife as miserly as himself; they were so miserly that they even conspired to cheat each other.” They were both so miserly his wife would hide things from Tom and he would spend hours trying to find what she hid. Their house looked old and worn down because they would not spend any money to fix anything that would break down. Another example of Tom’s being miserly is, (184) ¶2 “A miserable horse, whose ribs were as articulate as the bars of a gridiron, stalked about a field where a thin carpet of moss, scarcely covering the ragged beds of pudding stone, tantalized and balked his hunger; and sometimes he would lean his head over the fence, look piteously at the passer by, and seem to petition deliverance from this land of famine.” Tom’s horse and his land were so barren and looked as if they hadn’t been cared for in years.

Tom Walker is mean because he is always being rude to people including his wife. Tom’s meaness is shown in this quote, “One would think that to meet with such a singular personage in this wild lonely place, would have shaken any man’s nerves: but Tom was a hard-minded fellow, not easily daunted, and he had lived so long with a termagant wife, that he did not even fear the devil.” Another way this is made clear is in this quote, 188 ¶3 “He looked and beheld a bundle tied in a check apron and hanging in the branches of the tree; with a great vulture perched hard by, as if keeping watch upon it. He leaped with joy, for he recognized his wife’s apron, and supposed it to contain the household valuables. ”

Tom Walker spent his life gathering riches in any way he could, even at the expense of others. He made a pact with the devil to become a rich man. He didn’t even care that it cost him his wife. He was so miserly that even once he had riches he still did not use it to keep up what he had, his house was large but not finished, his carriage was big but not kept up, the wheels squeeked. In all, Tom Walker was a awful man because of his greed, miserity, and overall meanness.

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