Representation Of American Culture In Rip Van Winkle By Washington Irving

Decent Essays

American Mythology has been used throughout time for exaggerating the origin of American culture. The book “Rip Van Winkle”, written in the early 1800s by Washington Irving, is a great representation of American Mythology because it incorporates characteristics that establish the identity of a nation such as, people, images, and events. Irving’s story “Rip Van Winkle” is set in the pre- and post-Revolutionary War Periods, and during this time the colonies expressed great discontent of being under the rule of King George III of Great Britain. Irving’s, use of larger than life characters, interesting places, and mysterious events, illustrated the extreme desire for freedom, lifestyle, and value systems for the people during the pre- and post-war periods.
First, Irving implements American values through very captivating characters. The characters can be compared to the everyday life of the citizens of early America. An example of this is Rip’s marriage to his wife Dame Van Winkle. In the story, Irving described Dame Van Winkle as being sharp-tongued and relentlessly nagging, “morning, noon, and night, her tongue was incessantly going and everything he said or did was sure to produce a torrent of household eloquence” (65). Dame is in direct conflict with how Rip wants to live his life and her constant nagging is a result of Rip going against the current social norms of working and not being lazy. Rip’s laziness causes his farm and his children to suffer, and “his fences were

Get Access