The Devil and Tom Walker


Washington Irving

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The Land Jobber Character Analysis

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 are going through hard times by the time Tom Walker sets up his counting house in Boston as a usurer, the land jobber included. Indeed, many need loans to stay afloat, and are lining up at Tom’s doors. Although Tom professes to be the land jobber’s friend, he characteristically decides to foreclose the land jobber’s mortgage for personal gain; but Old Scratch interrupts Tom before he can complete this act of antisocial hypocrisy and exploitation: the devil decides it’s time to claim Tom’s soul. The devil at his door, Tom can’t defend himself with his Bible any longer, because his copy is ironically buried under the land jobber’s mortgage, suggesting just what Tom’s topsy-turvy priorities are.
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The Land Jobber Character Timeline in The Devil and Tom Walker

The timeline below shows where the character The Land Jobber appears in The Devil and Tom Walker. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
“The Devil and Tom Walker”
Greed Theme Icon
Usury Theme Icon
Wealth, Religion, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon foreclosing a mortgage and thereby completing the ruin of an unlucky land speculator, or land jobber , “for whom he had professed the greatest friendship.” The land jobber is present, having... (full context)
Greed Theme Icon
Usury Theme Icon
Wealth, Religion, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
The land jobber then reminds Tom that he has already made a great deal of money in interest... (full context)