The Devil and Tom Walker

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Washington Irving
 First American writer to
achieve international
reputation
 Used pseudonyms and
published anonymously
 Patriotism was
questioned because he
spent much of his time
abroad
 P.240
 Irving reshaped a German folk tale about a man who
sells his soul to the Devil for earthly gain
 His adaptation of the story was timely in New England
during the 1720s when the Puritan belief of devoting
one’s life to God was being replaced by materialism
and the desire for personal gain
 All-knowing narrator relates the events of the story
 Stories told using this perspective have the following characteristics:
 A narrator who stands outside the action
 Details about the thoughts and feelings of all the characters
 The narrator’s commentary about the events of the story
What is the third-person omniscient narrator telling the reader
about Tom and his wife in this quote?
“Her [Tom’s wife] voice was often heard in wordy warfare with her
husband; and his face sometimes showed signs that their conflicts were
not confined to words”
 Characterization reveals the personality traits of his
characters
 Direct characterization- narrator tells the reader what
the character is like
 Ex: The patient boy and quiet girl were both at the game.
 Indirect characterization- personality traits are
revealed through the speech, thoughts, and actions of
the characters
 Ex: The man woke from his cold bed on the park bench
and pulled his soiled shirt off his empty belly.
 Watch the “trailer” for this short story
 Read pages 242-252
 Complete worksheet on “The Devil and Tom Walker”