“The Devil and Tom Walker” pgs. 153 – 161
1) Based on the detail about he pirate’s buried gold, what possible plot developments
are now allowed or predictable?
2) What is an archetype on this page?
1) How does the description of Tom’s house affect the mood of the story? What
diction is significant in developing this mood?
2) What female stereotype is Irving drawing on here?
3) In the right column, the first paragraph, what diction heightens the mood? What
might Irving’s purpose be in creating this mood?
1) How do the details describing the dark man make him special and strange?
2) What might the great tree, rotten at the core, symbolize?
3) What conclusion can you draw from the fact that these men’s names have been
hacked into the trees and the fact that the black man carries an ax?
1) What range of evil activity does the first paragraph in the left column attribute to
2) What is Irving saying about his own society?
1) What do you think the conditions of the bargain are?
2) What is the meaning of the black fingerprint branded into Tom’s forehead, and
what does it imply about Tom’s future?
3) What do you think has happened to Tom’s wife?
1) What is the mood of the second paragraph in the left column? How does this
heighten the suspense?
2) What “generally understood” terms does the narrator refer to here? Why do you
think he doesn’t state the terms explicitly?
1) How does the plot development of Tom being a money lender and the change of
setting affect the mood?
2) Look at the paragraph in the right column that starts with “Thus Tom was the
universal friend of the needy…”. What is Irving actually saying here? Why is it
1) What do you think is going to happen to Tom?
2) What aspect of society is Irving satirizing in showing the way Tom has changed?
3) How does the mood on this page shift? What is the effect of this anecdote about
4) What is ironic on this page and why?
1) What is the mood of the story at the end? What view of the wrongdoer does this
2) What is the main point of the story?
Explain five ways this story fits into the Romantic Era: