Blog 3: The Devil and Tom Walker

My first impressions to The Devil and Tom Walker was positive. It was similar to things we read by having the same structure as all short stories have, it had conflicts and resolutions. It was different because it was a story that no one was a “hero” or anyone showing any redeeming qualities. The only person I saw that could be considered good (semi) would be the Devil, and well, I would not consider Satan as someone who is necessarily “good”. My impression of the society that was depicted was that it is very similar to how we are today, besides the whole hanging witches. People still worshiped and had jobs that are similar to how we live today, for example we still have people who are like usurers, we would call that person a loan shark now. Like our society is, it showed flaw. It showed how people hated each other for small things like when Tom told the church to direct anger at certain groups. I think that Irving wrote this story to highlight the issues in his society that he lived in showing a dramatic narrative about a horrible person. In the story he didn’t even allow his character, who was very bad person, to be a slave owner. He wanted to show to his fellow Americans how that was one of the worst things someone could do. He wanted to show that only people who are evil do that. The Devil is the only one in the story to suggest doing that and he is supposed to sin, Irving just wanted to show how slavery was a crime to humanity. He was trying to make a point that everyone around him were horrible people who would just turn on a whole group of people because someone in church said so. If I could add to the story for a modern audience I would have to rewrite the story in a very similar fashion but only the setting be changed to modern Boston and the bad things people do in the story would mirror today’s society. For example the devil may ask Tom to do something that he would not ever do in a modern society, like becoming a criminal in organized crime.

https://stacybuckeye.com/2010/03/31/the-devil-tom-walker-and-other-selected-stories-by-washington-irving/

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