Dutch Culture In Washington Irvin's Dame Van Winkle

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For almost two hundred years, Washington Irvin’s infamous character Dame Van Winkle has served as the archetype of the nagging wife. This character’s incessant rants have created in readers an instant dislike that does not lighten up as the story progresses. However, in order to better understand her actions, we will explore her motives, history and even her Dutch ancestry. Items which may reveal that this notorious character may have been unnecessarily vilified. We will learn that her actions may not only have been warranted, but perhaps should have been more socially accepted in the story. We will also explore the idea that if the aforementioned is correct, then perhaps for the better part of the last two centuries, we may have been misconstruing…show more content…
We can apply this knowledge to her by our understanding that Washington Irvin’s fictional scribe –Diedrich Knickerbocker- of this tale was only focused on Dutch history. Furthermore, our story opens by explaining that this was a Dutch settlement. We can apply this understanding to dvw and observe that she may have been raised with a value on hardwork and getting your voice heard. She also would have had the understanding that all the debt created by her husband’s idleness would very clearly affect her as well. Her upbringing may also clarify that the boisterous disposition which was so negatively perceived may have been the normal behaviors of a different culture. One in which women are expected to take their place among men, and to even take charge or seek control when the men do not. Aside of her behavior being justified on the grounds of maternal protection and her Dutch ancestry, there are also other circumstances that illustrate that dmw was not only wrongfully vilified, but may have even been an unsung hero of sorts. DVw was a woman that spoke out, not just against her own husband’s idleness, but against those of others. In an era where it was clear that women were expected to be the quiet subjects of their husbands, she had the courage to speak out against the community leaders. In the story, as she barges in to scold not just her husband, but those that support his behavior…show more content…
However, just a well known as rvw white beard and his calm disposition have been, so has the wife’s nagging become. Seen as epitome of what a bad wife is. Painted as such in the story, and viewed in the same manner by all of who have read this story. However, a closer look past the veil of the classical nagging wife, and delving into her actions and their motives may bring a new perspective of this character. Illustrating that through literary contemplation, we may come to realize that those whom we esteem as the heroes or villains of a story, may not be
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