The Devil and Tom Walker

803 Words4 Pages
The Devil and Tom Walker Gothic literature was and still is a very common form of literature in which the point of writing is to make people scared or to question their beliefs. It started around the Puritan times and was directly opposed to their views, so it was aimed at them to make them question their beliefs. Gothic literature is usually extremely dark and gloomy with more than a little death and decay throughout the story. It also almost always has some form of supernatural being or event. “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving is a perfect example of gothic literature because it has all of the characteristic features of it. The first and probably most important part of a piece of gothic literature is the existence of some kind of supernatural being or event. In “The Devil and Tom Walker” that supernatural being happens to be the Devil. The Devil is even the character who influences the entire story and ultimately the outcome of the story. “Tom lost his patience and his piety-‘The devil take me,’ said he, ‘if I have made a farthing!’ Just then there were three loud knocks at the street door. He stepped out to see who was there. A black man was holding a black horse which neighed and stamped with impatience” (251). The Devil makes a contract with Tom Walker in which Tom becomes rich at the cost of his soul. At the end, he unintentionally calls the Devil and is whisked away by The Devil ending the story. Another element of gothic literature that can be found in “The Devil and Tom Walker” is a gloomy and depressing setting. The setting in gothic literature is often cold, dark, and gloomy. The setting in this story is one of the best possible settings use as example of gothic literature because it has all of these elements. “The swamp was thickly grown with great gloomy pines and hemlocks, some of them ninety feet high; which made it dark at noonday,
Open Document