Indeed, both Tom and his wife have a conflict with the Devil, or “Old Scratch,” though the conflict between his wife and the devil ends up badly for the wife. Likewise, Tom’s practice of usury leads him into conflict with his fellow men.
Why are Tom and his wife unhappy? They fight about money. ” Tom was a hard-minded fellow, not easily daunted, and he had lived so long with a termagant wife that he did not even fear the devil.”
Climax. Tom becomes very wealthy, but begins to worry about his soul. He regrets the deal and tries to repent by reading the Bible and attending church, but he remains in his nefarious business. While Tom argues with a debtor, there come three loud knocks at his door!
Tom Walker sells his soul to the devil in exchange for great wealth in the form of buried treasure. As part of the deal he must be employed in his lifetime in the devil’s service, and to do this he chooses to become a money-lender, “cheating people out of their money and charging them outrageous interest”.
And lastly, the devil, who first appears to Tom Walker as a woodsman he recognizes as Old Scratch, is Tom’s final antagonist.
The trees of the wooded and swamp area symbolized the land owners, slave drivers, and colonists that have taken the land from the Native Americans. They were all sinners that had made deals with the devil for their own greed and material desires. The trees fell when the men’s souls were claimed and taken by the devil.
Why does Tom initially refuse the devil’s bargain? It is after he gets home and tells his wife about the incident. However Tom might have felt disposed to sell himself to the devil, he was determined not to do so to contradict his wife. So, just to spite her, Tom refuses.
Why does Tom begin praying and reading the bible? He wants to escape the devil. Tom’s green spectacles may be symbolic of what emotion (think of the seven deadly sins). He only ever saw the greed and wealth in things and nothing else.
How does Tom behave when he is older and nearing death? Starts to pray, read the bible but is still cruel to others. What happens to Tom’s wealth at the end of the tale? Becomes dust and ashes, burns down to the ground.
A “meagre miserly fellow,” Tom Walker is first and foremost outrageously, self-destructively greedy. He despises his miserly, abusive wife and has nothing to live for but the satisfaction of his desire for owning things.
didn’t want to agree with his wife. what did Tom’s wife decided to do about the gold? Bargain with the devil herself- brought her apron full of silver teapots and spoons and other items of value. give him the gold so he will use it in black traffic- slave trader.
Greed. Greed is the central theme of “The Devil and Tom Walker.” It is greed that killed Kidd the pirate—for stealing things that did not belong to him—as well as Tom’s wife and even Tom Walker. Tom’s wife is willing to sacrifice anything to take the devil’s offer of riches.
In “The Devil and Tom Walker,” when Tom begins to regret his agreement to sell his soul to the devil, he begins to attend church and carry his Bible with him everywhere. He also is rumored to have had his horse buried upside down in the belief that this way, he can outrun the devil.
What Tom ultimately agrees to is to become a usurer, one who lends money at exhorbitant interest rates. He trades his soul for a guarantee that he will be rich. Once he gains his riches, he spends the rest of his life looking over his shoulder wondering when the Devil will come to collect his part of the debt.
What happened to Tom’s money and things? All the bonds and mortgages were burned to cinders. All the gold and silver in his chest were just chips and shavings. His horses were just skeletons and the next day his house burned to the ground.