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washington Irving

"The Devil and Tom Walker," Washington Irving study guide

Miserly of a quantity
Precarious uncertain or unstable
Avarice insatiable greed for riches
Termagant a harsh-tempered or overbearing woman
Melancholy mournful, depressed
Usurer a person who lends money and charges interest.
What is the theme or themes of the story? a man who sells his soul to the devil for earthly benefits.
How would you characterize Tom Walker and his wife? miserly, greedy
Identify the similes on page 231 his face was neither black nor copper color, but swarthy and dingy and the grime.
What is the setting of this story? What might it reveal about Irving's feelings about nature? a few miles from Boston Massachusetts. Early 19th century in a primeval forest.
What is the link between the trees on page 232 and Crowninshield? Crowninshield is a wealthy citizen of the village. His tree represents which his soul.
What does the manner in which Tom speaks to Old Scratch reveal about Tom's character? Tom is so corrupt that he finds nothing to fear in the Devil.
Do you think Tom's uneasiness about his wife's safety is caused by a genuine concern for her safety? Explain. no, because he set out at length to seek them both at the Indian fort.
"He sought, therefore, to cultivate a further acquaintance with him"(235). What will be the outcome of this relationship? the devil is making Tom to tempt him to be a slave-trader.
Is Tom a hypocrite? Use specific details to support your claim. yes, Tom refuses to become a slave trader on moral grounds, but has no problem making a profit by improvising others.
What can you infer about the Narrator's attitude toward money and human greed? He thinks money is the heart of construction.
Satire is a writing form that uses humor as a way of criticizing someone or something. In what ways is this story a satire? Do you agree with Irving's criticisms? He exaggerates the characters in the story.
Created by: Katwill678