The Devil and Tom Walker Essay

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In the following excerpt of a longer article, Lynch talks about the devil as a character in literature, including his appearance in "The Devil and Tom Walker," one the devil's first appearances in American literature.

In the spring of 1951, when the emotionalism of the MacArthur controversy was at its highest, a mob of people in one of our western towns hanged Secretary of State Acheson in effigy. If this act had taken place about one hundred seventy years ago, there probably would have been one difference—the figure of the devil would also have had a part in the ceremony. We learn from contemporary accounts of the Revolution that when Benedict Arnold's treason became known his effigy was burned and hanged throughout the towns of America, invariably with an image of the devil thrusting him into hell with a pitchfork. Even as late as 1828, the school board of...

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This section contains 1,271 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Devil and Tom Walker Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Devil and Tom Walker from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.