Friday, September 6, 2019
The Devil and Tom Walker Essay Example for Free
The Devil and Tom Walker Essay The Devil and Tom Walker is a cautionary tale about the result of greed and cruelty. The parable is filled with dark ruminations of nature, forbidding forests and secret, stolen wealth. 1 The proverb assumes the reader is familiar with Biblical terminology, such as Israel or ZionWalkers. These terms presume the reader is intimately familiar with Christianity. The story is precluded to a particular region, Boston and New England. This is an interesting tidbit, the proverb appears to be as familiar to Northerners as are the tales of Brer Rabbit are to Southerners. Each are filled with types of behavior and an ultimate moral conclusion. The aspects of nature in this story is an interesting aspect of American Romanticism. The forests are dark and danger is implied throughout the story. The description of Toms house as something of such pallor, of such demeanor to forbid strangers or travelers from coming near. Even the lone horse is described as decimated and longing for escape from this cruel entrapment. This type of treatment carries over, even when Tom achieves success. His greed only grows, as does his cruelty. The story continues in cautioning the reader in engaging in false Christianity. The life of Tom is filled with loneliness, cruelty, greed, and a form of religion that cannot offer solace to the insincere. The reader is assumed to have an intimate form of knowledge of Christianity. The terms Israel, the City of God and Zionwalkers those who at the least profess the faith of Christianity. The fable appears to take a negative aspect of Christianity, clearly warning the reader of any form of false religion. Although Tom begins to attend Sunday Service and carry his Bible in his pocket and even kept a bible on his workshop table. In the end the Bible is not a saving factor, left perhaps forgotten in the end in the heat of Tom greedily taking from the poor, an express sin in Biblical terms. This tale appears to have been known throughout New England. Quakers and Anabaptists1 are mentioned twice in the story. These two types of beliefs were considered exceptionally odd compared to the Puritan belief. The Quaker2 faith has always been considered strange, because of the way the faith is practiced. The Quakers are unusual in that those of this faith are extremely devoted in that these people of faith attempt to live out their faith through non violence and acts of contrition and charity. This is adverse of the Puritan faith which equates secular wealth with the blessings of God. 3, that is, one who is materially successful must be of or blessed by God and therefore destined for Heaven. The Anabaptists1 were considered unusual in that those of this faith acted independently from any type of hierarchical method of church administration. Anabaptists acted independently from any authority other than the believed hierarchy of God, that is there was nor could there be any authority higher than God alone. 3 The tale of Tom Walker and the Devil is very reminiscent of a story reminiscent of a book by Stephen King, Needful Things4, especially in the ending. Throughout the story the protagonist is described as being dark and gruff, which is also true of another story by Stephen King, The Stand. Stephen King of a New England background would have likely been very familiar with this very old story, this being so, his writing reflects the character of Old Scratch. In the ending of Needful Things the protagonist escapes via a horse drawn hearse, which takes easily to the air granting this creature or being immediate escape. The protagonist in both The Stand and Needful Things is described as ethereal, without any true form, but with the ability to take the form of that which is acceptable to the desired soul.