In the story, Rip Van Winkle, Rip is seen by many of his peers as a person they can always go to for help, he is incredibly dependable. The story states, “the women of the village ,too used to employ him to run their errands, and to do such little odd jobs as their less obliging husbands would not do for them.”(10). Meaning Rip is always there to give a helping hand, even when others do not want to. Robin too is persistent, he spends hours upon hours looking for Major Molineux, until he is successful. In the story, Robin states, “I pray you tell me the whereabouts of is the dwelling of my kinsman, Major Molineux.”(2). Which shows that even from the beginning, Robin will do anything to find him. Another similaritiy the two share are the many setbacks they go through to acheive their goals. For example, Rips goal was to simply enjoy some time away from Dame Van Winkle, his horrendous wife, but falls asleep in the mountains, and wakes up in distress and shock due to his changed town. However Rip does gain a sense of peace by telling his story to whoever will listen, and the almost comforting death of Dame. Robin’s goal in My Kinsman, Major Molineux, is simply to find the location of his relative Major Molineux. Robin goes through a great deal of trouble, because he is seen as an outsider in this foreign town. Robin too reaches his goal, and finally finds Major Molineux, that is, after he is sleep
Rip Van Winkle desires to leave his nagging wife, driving him into the woods revealing a gorgeous, woodland landscape and a
Rip Van Winkle is described as a man who “was one of those happy mortals, of foolish, well-oiled dispositions, who take the world easy, eat white bread or brown, whichever can be got with least thought or trouble, and would rather starve on a penny than work for a pound” (46). He was a stubborn man
Irving next shows the unfamiliarity that the American people were facing with their new surroundings. In Thomas B. Allen’s “One Revolution Two Wars,” Allen gives a detailed explanation of how the American Revolution had divided the Nation. “There were truly and clearly two Americans – one governed by the British military operating from New York and the other a group of colonies in rebellion but not quite governed” (Allen). The nation had become divided between those who would swear allegiance to the crown and those who would swear allegiance to America (Allen). In Irving’s story he shows how Rip suffers the same division in his own town. When he comes back to his town he realizes that a statue of George Washington is now in the town square and the portrait of his majesty King George the Third. People begin to question him and ask “whether he was a federal or a democrat” (Baym 961). When he answered saying that he was a loyal subject to the king, people began shouting, “A Tory! A Tory! A spy! A refugee! Hustle him! Away with him!”
In Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle,” an allegorical reading can be seen. The genius of Irving shines through, in not only his representation in the story, but also in his ability to represent both sides of the hot political issues of the day. Because it was written during the revolutionary times, Irving had to cater to a mixed audience of Colonists and Tories. The reader’s political interest, whether British or Colonial, is mutually represented allegorically in “Rip Van Winkle,” depending on who is reading it. Irving uses Rip, Dame, and his setting to relate these allegorical images on both sides. Irving would achieve success in both England and America, in large part because his political satires had individual allegorical meanings.
Ultimately, Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle” takes the form of an allegory, illustrating the atmosphere of the United States following the Revolution. The conjunction of the metaphorical relationship between Rip and his wife, the imagery of the changed town, and the necessity for Rip to adjust to his new liberty, mirror the promise of progress and freedom from the Revolution. Superficially “Rip Van Winkle” represents change, yet just below the surface lies an insight into the revolutionary
“Rip Van Winkle” is a classic American Mythological story that tells the tale of a man who sleeps for twenty years after drinking a mysterious drink. Rip Van Winkle is a very lazy, American man who one day, ventures off into the woods with his dog named Wolf. While in the woods, he finds a group of men playing Skittles and drinking liquor in the middle of an amphitheater. He joins them, and drinks some of their alcohol, but he soon passes out. When he awakens, twenty years have passed, and he missed the Revolutionary War, his children growing up, and even his wife passing away. What characteristics make this folklore such a classic fable in American literature? The story is set in the past, features exaggerated and strange characters, and
One thing in the story that shocked me is how different our perception of the Revolutionary War is from the reality. An example of this was how ill trained the American army was at the beginning of the war. The army was undisciplined, disobedient, and motivated only by their paychecks. Many perceive the soldiers as valiant, zealous men, but it wasn’t until much later in the war that the soldiers rose to the occasion and became the warriors that we remember today.
The first reason about why “Rip Van Winkle” is about the struggle finding an identity is because of the characters that appear. Rip Van Winkle, the protagonist in the short story, is
Furthermore, Rip Van Winkle’s identity itself represents America’s journey before and after the American Revolution and the difficulties that were faced. When the reader is first introduced to Rip Van Winkle, he is a well-known man. The community loves him and he has made a name for himself based off the needs of others. He is very dependent on the community and the community is dependent on him. The following citation how well-liked Rip Van Winkle is before he takes his trip to Kaatskill mountains. “Certain it is, that he was a great favorite among all the good wives of the village […] The children of the village, too, would shout with joy whenever he approached.”(https://www.ibiblio.org/ebooks/Irving/Winkle/Irving_Winkle.pdf, Page 8) When Rip returns, he is faced with the reality that he has lost any form of identity he once had. Nobody recognized him, the children laughed at him, and even the dogs barked after him, none of these were the case before his trip. Irving used Rip Van Winkle to represent America
"Rip Van Winkle" has been a well-known story told throughout time. There is not a doubt that as a child, many of you heard the words of Washington Irving's famous tale of the man who slept for twenty years. Nor can one forget the "elves" that Rip Van Winkle spent the night with in the amphitheater. Like many stories, Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" has been told so many times throughout American history that it has lost its original purpose. The story is now remembered for its fairy tale like quality and its appeal to the children and the young at heart. However, when given the chance to delve into the depths of what Irving was trying to portray, one may see the
“Rip Van Winkle” is an American short story by Washington Irving. Published in 1819, it is a quaint essential piece of American Literature. The story is narrated by Deidrich Knickerbocker, a character created by Washington Irving. Knickerbocker tells of the life of old man Rip Van Winkle and how he slept for twenty years among the trees in the Kaatskill mountains and returned one day to a new time, only to find that his home and all his friends had long since passed. In the story, the main character Rip says, “I’m not myself—I’m somebody else—that’s me yonder—no—that’s somebody else, got into my shoes—I was myself last night, but I fell asleep on the mountain, and they’ve changed my gun, and every thing’s changed, and I’m changed, and I can’t tell what’s my name, or who I am!”(Irving 38). Irving’s short story has the traditional elements of romantic literature and of the time. It uses fantasy and adventure elements to draw in readers, as well as excite the imagination. Before Irving, much of the literature consisted of sermons and religious works, whereas Irving began to write fiction. Many things were taking place during this time. America was becoming more settled, independent, and was going through a revolution, which is portrayed in the story. Also, the setting in the short story was full of local folklore. These elements help to create the atmosphere in which this tall tale takes place. Washington Irving details how
Next, the characters enter the scene of mythology. In order for mythology to come across as supernatural, the characters must lend themselves to mystery. In Rip Van Winkle, not only do other intriguing characters appear, but Rip himself tends towards strange behaviors. After all, Rip did sleep for twenty years without waking. That in its self begins to reveal the underlying interest of the story. Perhaps the most strange and exaggerated characters would prove to be the bowler in the forest. In the text it says, “He was still more surprised at the singularity of the stranger’s appearance.” It goes on to
One thing we know about Rip Van Winkle is that this story is inspirited in a story belonging to a Dutch story, taking from the Dutch settlers of American colonies.
If there's one passage in this story that would summarize the entire story it would be this one. Every theme throughout Rip Van Winkle is touched on somewhere in here and the constant theme of "who Rip is" is the underlying question of both this story and this passage. In the beginning of the story I think we all took a liking to such a friendly character who cares so much about pleasing everyone. However, towards the end of the story Rip seems to examine his life and realizes that he doesn't like everything about himself, and that quite possibly some changes are in order.