Does Irving's story show that the desire for wealth was becoming greater than the desire to do the right thing based on religion?
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This story focuses largely on a theme of greed and its negative effects. Tom Walker is known throughout the Charles Bay for his greed, and it is this greed that leads him to sell his soul to the devil in exchange for money. Tom's plight is meant to warn readers not to let greed blind them, for, as is the case in "The Devil and Tom Walker," it can have disastrous consequences. Tom's choices in this story are reflections of his valuing material wealth and financial prosperity over the wellbeing of others. He is more concerned with the loss of his valuable property than he is with the murder of his wife by Old Scratch. He shows no sympathy for those who come to him seeking loans, and instead bleeds them dry. In author Irving's eyes, Tom's values clearly lie in the wrong place, and in the end he is punished for it. You can find this and more at the GradeSaver link below: