Essay on Rip Van Winkle

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Rip Van Winkle

In the late 1700's and early 1800's, literature began to show it was changing thanks to the newly formed democracy in America. As is the case with any young government, many different interest groups arose to attempt to mold the government according to their vision of democracy. Washington Irving, a native New Yorker born in 1783, grew up in a world engulfed in these democratic ideals. He grew up to be, as many would grow up in this atmosphere, a political satirist. This satirical nature of Irving's shows up well in "Rip Van Winkle", as he uses historical allusions and symbolic characters to mockingly compare colonial life under British rule to the democracy of the young United States.
The reader assumes the appearance
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This mirrors the inactive role the governors took in every day life, and the colonist's considerable respect for them. The relationship between the governors and Britain is illustrated perfectly by Irving when Dame Van Winkle comes to the inn to collect her husband. "Nicholas Vedder himself, scarred from the daring tongue of this terrible woman, who charged him outright with encouraging her husband in habits of idleness. "(Irving 15) (6)While a characteristically influential man, Nicholas is no match for the intimidation of Dame Van Winkle.
The turning point of the story occurs when Rip walks deep into the woods and encounters a mysterious band of oddly dressed strangers with foreign customs. These strangers represent the tribes of Indians who dwelled in villages outside the colonial settlements. In the short conscious time Rip spends with them, he takes the time to notice a great deal about how their small town works. Throughout their entire party, the group remained completely silent, although they were definitely happy. This portrays the Indians apprehension to interact with the settlers. Rip also takes note of a leader of the group. This leader wears a large, outlandish headpiece, and is shown to be a respected elder of the group. The entire scene where Rip waits on them out of fear, parodies the capturing and enslavement of the settlers by the Indians. This part of the story is a bit vague to the reader. The little men
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