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‘I Put a Spell On You’ is stuck in my head

So, since reading The Devil and Tom Walker, I can’t stop wanting to watch Hocus Pocus even though it is not even October yet (this is unhealthy)!!! I really liked this short story but it made it feel like spooky season is upon us and the leaves haven’t even changed colors yet! At the beginning of the story I really didn’t want to read it and I was going to read half that night and rush finishing the other half the next morning but I surprisingly got sucked in and finished it all that night. I really liked that this story was set in the 1700’s New England, it gave the story such a spooky vibe that I don’t think I’ve ever read about before. I think in Freshman year English we talked about the Salem Witch Trials but we kind of just researched them and didn’t read an actual story about them, so it was pretty new but I had some good background context. What I really like about this story is that the main character isn’t necessarily the “good guy”.  While Tom  Walker did have a terrible home life with his abusive wife and all, he himself wasn’t really a good person either. This story focuses around greed. In the society they live in, people make literal deals with the devil just to get more money because more money meant more fame and was desired by everyone. He showed how Tom Walker kind of “started from the bottom” to getting everything he wanted, but it didn’t make him a better person, in fact his reputation got so much worse. Irving is showing just how selfish society can be and he adds in some disgusting elements to intensify the outcome in a way. He literally killed off a minor character just to prove how hideous greed was. The symbolism behind the vulture (a representation of death) bringing Tom his wife’s heart and liver is actually genius after talking about that in class. When the Devil took his wife he only sent back the organs that didn’t belong in hell. That is brilliant! I don’t think I would change anything. I think the story was very easy to understand and if you tried to modernize it, the meaning wouldn’t be as prevalent. I think it was perfect just the way it is.

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20mfisher • September 9, 2018


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