The Devil and Tom Walker


Washington Irving

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The Devil and Tom Walker Characters

Tom Walker

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. One… (read full character analysis)

Old Scratch

Also called the Wild Huntsman, the Black Miner, and, in New England, the Black Woodsman, Old Scratch is the devil himself, pure black as if covered in soot and with a shock of coarse black… (read full character analysis)

Tom Walker’s Wife

Tom’s stereotypical nagging, scolding wife is even more miserly than her husband; when she’s not hoarding valuables from him, she’s verbally, maybe even physically abusing him. After Tom initially declines to accept Old Scratch(read full character analysis)

Captain Kidd

The pirate who, before the action of the story begins in 1727, buried treasure in the swamp near which Tom Walker and his wife live. Kidd never enjoyed the fruits of his evil labors, however… (read full character analysis)

Deacon Peabody

The earthly owner of the swamp where Tom Walker meets Old Scratch, Deacon Peabody is more truly the devil’s property himself, hypocritically scrutinizing his neighbors’ sins and overlooking his own as he does. Old… (read full character analysis)
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Absalom Crowninshield

Like Deacon Peabody, Absalom Crowninshield is an embodiment of earthly success and spiritual failure: he is ostentatiously rich from exploitative buccaneering, respected in Boston as a pious man, but doomed to damnation for his… (read full character analysis)

The Land Jobber

Under Governor Belcher’s administration in Massachusetts, the land jobber was, like many others, interested in getting rich quick, by buying and selling land on speculation, in his case. However, the economy consequently collapsed, and people… (read full character analysis)