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You are watching: The devil and tom walker symbolism


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as soon as "Old Scratch," the devil, reflects Tom walker a tree that seemed to be healthy and vigorous but had been scored by an ax to expose a rotten core, Deacon Peabody"s surname is reduced into it. "Old Scratch" means that Deacon Peabody will be damned unless he examines...


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When "Old Scratch," the devil, mirrors Tom walker a tree that seemed to be healthy and vigorous yet had been scored by an ax to expose a rotten core, Deacon Peabody"s surname is reduced into it. "Old Scratch" means that Deacon Peabody will certainly be damned uneven he examines his own sins.

"Deacon Peabody it is in d——d," claimed the stranger, "as ns flatter myself he will be, if he does no look an ext to his very own sins and also less come his neighbor"s..." 

During that same conversation, Tom realizes that the tree he is sitting on, which has actually just fallen, is inscribed with the surname of Absalom Crowninshield. Tom notices that other trees in the swamp have names sculpted into them, and they all appear to be score by one ax.

When Tom returns home,

"The an initial news his wife had actually to call him to be the sudden fatality of Absalom Crowninshield the wealthy buccaneer. It was announced in the papers with the normal flourish, the "a good man had fallen in Israel."

The implication is the Crowninshield has been precise "cut down" through the devil, due to the fact that his crime of buccaneering is widely acknowledged. Presumably, his life and also soul have been asserted by Old Scratch since Crowninshield made the same resolve him that he supplies Tom Walker: temporal riches in exchange for his immortal soul.

The words "a great man has actually fallen in Israel" have actually a double meaning: Crowninshield is dead, yet he also experienced a ethical fall.

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Symbolically, then, the trees represent males who are at grave risk of death and also damnation unless they mend your ways. Swamps have actually long to be employed by writers as a symbol for a ar of ethical murkiness, so it is by architecture that Irving areas the trees here.