William Cullen Bryant And The Devil And Tom Walker

811 Words Mar 9th, 2015 4 Pages
An Analysis of American Romanticism

The romantic period,1735 to 1830, for writers is a dark and confusing time, it is a time when dark things are made to seem better than they are. Many great literary works come from this period, but at the price of confusing the population. People believe that “emotions and relationships were not just important, but were the very currency of life.” Three romantic era pieces stand out, The Pit and The Pendulum by Edgar Allen Poe, Thanatopsis by William Cullen Bryant and The Devil and Tom Walker By Washington Irving. These stories resemble the best qualities of the romantic era and maybe even some of the worst. Romanticism itself is a way of turning even the worst of topics into a more emotional sounding one or emphasizing a different emotion. Many romantic authors choose to write about death in a way that makes it sound like a person, so maybe it doesn’t seem as scary anymore. Others may write about war, or personal experience in a way that is not like the original story. In a nutshell Romanticism is taking something and twisting it into something completely different.

In The Devil and Tom Walker Irving writes about the Devil in a way that makes him seem like an eerie lumberjack or even a seedy salesman, he represents the tempter. He even skims over the fact that Walker sells his soul to the devil and focuses on the man Walker becomes after he gets what he wants from the Devil. Tom Walker is a greedy man who cared little for…
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