Anti Essays offers essay examples to help students with their essay writing.

Sign Up

The Devil and Tom Walker Literary Analysis: Shortcuts

  • Submitted by: chollis14
  • on October 7, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 944 words

Open Document

Below is a free excerpt of "The Devil and Tom Walker Literary Analysis: Shortcuts" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

“Shortcuts make for long delays.” Quoted by J.R.R. Tolkien in The Hobbit. Though always tempting, shortcuts in life prove to be destructive more often than not. They are one of the many evils present in the world. In Washington Irving’s short story, The Devil and Tom Walker, this lesson is well learned. Tom takes many shortcuts in the story including the shortcut he took to get home, the shortcut to what he believes will be happiness in his deal with the devil and the shortcut he tries to take to get out of his deal. Tom learns the hard way that life and happiness cannot be cheated and gained without effort.

    As race, humans are known to do whatever is needed to get ahead in life, regardless of the consequences and dangers. Not all people follow this, though. People like Tom Walker who are greedy and money hungry are often the ones to take any opportunity to get ahead. The first shortcut Tom Walker took in this short story was on his way home from a distant neighbors house. Rather than walking the extra mile or so, nothing too drastic, Tom chose to walk through a swamp. This is strange in multiple ways. To start, it was dark in the swamp because of the pine trees. The average person would not walk through a dark swamp just to gain a little extra time. Irving used the words “ill-chosen route” to describe the path (Irving 230). Secondly, the swamp was filled with deep pits covered with moss and leaves that made it difficult to see them. It would be easy to injure oneself. Lastly, it is common knowledge that there could be dangerous animals lurking in a swamp such as snakes, spiders, rodents and others. Irving uses the words “...startled now and then by the sudden screaming of the bittern...” to describe the chilling noises of the forest (Irving 230). No sane person with regular goals and ideals in life would travel through a treacherous area like this just to lose a few minutes of travel time. This indicates that Tom is self-centered and will do anything to get...

Show More


MLA Citation

"The Devil and Tom Walker Literary Analysis: Shortcuts". Anti Essays. 13 Dec. 2018


APA Citation

The Devil and Tom Walker Literary Analysis: Shortcuts. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 13, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://parimatch-stavka7.com/free-essays/The-Devil-And-Tom-Walker-Literary-321103.html

Computer Bus Arhitecture - 2536 Words | inventor | nadeem1619