The Devil and Tom Walker

Washington Irving 12th Grade

Washington Irving

Washington Irving, considered the father and creator of the American short story, writes symbolically of American society through his characters and themes. He is credited with bringing short stories into the Dark Romantic movement. Irving uses elements of Dark Romantic writing to point out the flaws of humanity in most of his early works, particularly in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “The Devil and Tom Walker”. These works display immoral traits to show dark sides of characters, a trope of the Dark Romanticism movement. They focus on the evil aspects of everyday life and people, in addition to highlighting the flaws of society. Irving was one of the only Dark Romantic authors who used stories to expose societal flaws so that they might be fixed. In “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “The Devil and Tom Walker,” the motifs of greed and loveless marriage feature prominently within the mode satire of satire, 

The motif of greed presents itself in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” specifically in Ichabod Crane’s yearning for Katrina Van Tassel. Crane desires to be with her not because of true...

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