When read at first glance, Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" seems to be a tale of a lazy man who just wanted some peace and quiet, and ended up with almost too much of it. When analyzed at a deeper level however, "Rip Van Winkle" is more a symbolic story about the changes in the world going on at the time the story was written. Irving wrote "Rip Van Winkle" to show the world the struggle of the newly independent Americans trying to cope with life after English rule.
The character of Rip Van Winkle was one who was considered lazy and unproductive. He was "one of the happy mortals...who take the world easy, eat white bread or brown, which ever he can be got with least thought or trouble..." (Irving 983). Winkle was the kind of…show more content… The Colonists made whatever goods England needed and did whatever missions the King asked of them. Many convinced themselves that they were more than happy to do this, such as Winkle did, but I feel that they only tried to feel this way so that they did not feel in their life like they were just overseas servants.
Winkle's wife, Dame, represents in a lot of ways the controlling ways of England over America. Dame constantly nagged at Winkle, always complaining that he was never good enough. She never let him just be happy. This was how England was towards America. Even though the Colonists would do what was asked of them, they were still berated and treated as lower class citizens. England, just like Dame with Winkle, wouldn't allow America to have any freedom to run itself. It constantly had to rule over every action and decision made. When Rip decides to just go off into the Mountains for some peace and quiet, it is similar to how many Colonists began to back away from England.
While up in the mountains, Winkle begins to notice the beauty of nature and the world around him. This is something he doesn't always get to appreciate back in his village. He enjoys tremendously the serenity of it all, especially due to the lack of nagging by his wife. A stranger soon approaches and Winkle, just as was his in his character, helps the man carry the heavy load the