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'The Devil and Tom Walker' Questions for Study & Discussion

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Devil

Devil

Devil

 

"The Devil and Tom Walker" is the story of Tom Walker, who is tempted by the Devil, who goes by the name of Old Scratch. The story has been compared to the Faust tales by various famous authors. Take a look at these questions for study and discussion.

  • What is important about the title?
     
  • What are the conflicts in "The Devil and Tom Walker"? What types of conflict (physical, moral, intellectual, or emotional) do you see?
     
  • How does Irving reveal character in "The Devil and Tom Walker"?
     
  • Who was Faust (in literary history)? How could Tom Walker be said to have made a Faustian bargain?
     
  • What are some themes in the story? How do they relate to the plot and characters?
     
  • Compare/Contrast Tom Walker with Scrooge (in A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens)
     
  • Is Tom Walker consistent in his actions? Is he a fully developed character? How? Why?
     
  • Do you find the characters likable? Are the characters persons you would want to meet?
     
  • Discuss some of the symbols in "The Devil and Tom Walker."
     
  • Compare "The Devil and Tom Walker" with "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."
     
  • Does the story end the way you expected? How? Why?
     
  • What is the central/primary purpose of the story? Is the purpose important or meaningful?
     
  • How essential is the setting to the story? Could the story have taken place anywhere else?
     
  • What supernatural or surprising events are employed by Washington Irving? Are these happenings believable?
     
  • Overview
  • Characters
  • Major Events
  • Quotes / Quotations
  • Terms / Vocabulary
  • Questions for Study & Discussion
  • Text - The Devil and Tom Walker
  • Washington Irving - Profile

 

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