In a word, the great speculating fever which breaks out every now and then in the country had raged to an alarming degree, and everybody was dreaming of making sudden fortunes from nothing. He even felt something like gratitude toward the black woodsman, who, he considered, had done him a kindness. While he has no scruples in selling himself to Old Scratch for the treasure, he does not wish to do so for his wife's sake. She meets with Old Scratch herself, but tells her husband that Old Scratch requires an offering. Tom fights change at first, but he gives in to the greed that caused his wife's death.
It is shows champions individual freedom and the worth of the individual. This leg of the lesson looks at characterization; the second part of the lesson will examine the characteristics of the Faust Legend. The American Dream is to gain a great deal of wealth no matter the circumstances. This helps to keep them accountable and paying attention. I'm going to burn many trees this winter! Tom had long been picking his way cautiously through this treacherous forest, stepping from tuft to tuft of rushes and roots, which afforded precarious footholds among deep sloughs, or pacing carefully, like a cat, along the prostrate trunks of trees, startled now and then by the sudden screaming of the bittern, or the quacking of a wild duck, rising on the wing from some solitary pool. In his stable are found not two half-starved horses but skeletons. These he offered to place within Tom Walker's reach, having conceived an especial kindness for him; but they were to be had only on certain conditions.
The stories grew in difference in the beginnings of the stories. In a word, she was never heard of more. The land-jobbers would likely have been either eagerly searching for such a place or selling false information on its whereabouts in order to make money off of other speculators' gullibility. He carries Walker back to the old fortress, where walker remains, haunting it as a ghost. In this exercise, I want students to be able to differentiate between third person characterization and first person.
As Tom grows older, however, he becomes anxious about having sold his soul into damnation in exchange for merely worldly success. All these were under his command, and protected by his power, so that none could find them but such as propitiated his favor. The swamp is dark and dangerous, but it also has a seductive allure with the promise of wealth and hidden treasure. However, instead of becoming genuinely remorseful for his sins, Tom becomes a violent church-goer who makes brash displays in church and criticizes others rather than looking after his own sins. So saying, he turned off among the thickets of the swamp, and seemed, as Tom said, to go down, down, down, into the earth, until nothing but his head and shoulders could be seen, and so on, until he totally disappeared. He refused to do this. Tom was as rigid in religious as in money matters; he was a stern supervisor and censurer of his neighbors, and seemed to think every sin entered up to their account became a credit on his own side of the page.
Along with this incarnation of the devil Tom makes a deal about a line of work that would make him extremely wealthy. He even talked of the expediency of reviving the persecution of Quakers and Anabaptists. Nature also plays a large role in this story, placing it in the romanticism classification. Kidd died never able to reclaim his money, but the devil has protected it ever since. It was late in the dusk of evening when Tom Walker reached the old fort, and he paused there awhile to rest himself.
The main problem has to do with the fact that his sentences are very long. Had you ever heard the phrase before reading the story? In another darkly humorous example of greed corrupting one's morals, Tom cares not for his wife's well-being and misses the silver far more than his wife. The story concerns the fate of a learned gentleman named Faust, who in his quest for forbidden or advanced knowledge of material things, summons the Devil represented by Mephistopheles , offering to sell him his soul if the Devil will serve him for a period of time. At length, it is said, when delay had whetted Tom's eagerness to the quick and prepared him to agree to anything rather than not gain the promised treasure, he met the black man one evening in his usual woodsman's dress, with his axe on his shoulder, sauntering along the swamp and humming a tune. In this way, Irving satirizes those who turn to religion and make public shows of devotion while retaining their meanness of spirit.
Such is the end of Tom Walker and his immorally acquired wealth. This is during a time of scarcity, a time of paper credit: under Governor Belcher, the country had recently been deluged with government bills, people were receiving parcels of land to develop by the Land Bank, investors were betting wildly on this and that, settlers had gone mad with schemes to build cities in the wilderness. An explanation might be that the devil wants to ruin as many people as possible, and so letting Tom use Kidd's treasure to become a usurer would make him a socially influential person that could cause a lot of harm. That the sinners were shaken down to their knees suggests that many of them realized that their spiritual lives needed attending to and that the afterlife and the value of their souls were more valuable than worldy things. Tom said he would like this kind of work. This, however, Tom resolutely refused; he was bad enough in all conscience, but the devil himself could not tempt him to turn slave-trader.
It is also said that the devil later referred to as Old Scratch himself oversaw the hiding of the money and guards it even now, for the devil guards all buried treasure, especially treasure acquired immorally. Tom Walker takes a walk near an old fortress in a swamp and meets Old Scratch, who offers him Kidd's riches. This film addresses greed, and religious hypocrisy. A few straggling savin-trees, emblems of sterility, grew near it; no smoke ever curled from its chimney; no traveller stopped at its door. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, it is a retelling of the Faust legend and is considered one of Washington Irving's best short stories. Sometimes reading becomes a classroom management issue if I have a class of low level readers.
. Old Scratch is described as a dark-skinned man. In fact, Irving's piece triggered a rebirth of sorts for the Faustian tale. Old Scratch, the very embodiment of sin, surprises Tom now, even though Tom has lived in sin all his life. Walker, explains the narrator, was just the kind of man to jump at the prospect of a buried treasure, as he, along with his wife, were selfish to the point of destruction. The stories also shared similarities in the fact that both men were religious after the signing of the contract. He first suggests Tom should fit out a slave ship, but Tom outright refuses to be turned into a slave trader.