Essay on Rip Van Winkle

1682 Words Aug 15th, 2011 7 Pages
The characters in Rip Van Winkle and Young Goodman Brown written respectively by Washington Irving and Nathaniel Hawthorne leave their individual communities and return with radically different perspectives (of their current lives) that change their attitudes and way of life in the remaining of their lives. Both stories are set in early American villages, Young Goodman Brown takes place in the 1700’s New England puritan settlement while Rip Van Winkle takes place over 100 years later in an English colony in eastern New York. Both authors were very clever to use different historical context to illustrate cultural aspects of early American societies in order to make the reader aware of how big of a role gender, politics and religion where to …show more content…
Faiths pink ribbons are a symbol of her virtue, innocence, and purity. The image of the pink ribbons falling from the sky marks the start of the radical transformation of Brown’s feelings towards his wife Faith and his former self towards his society. When Brown returns from his night (dream) in the forest his reaction towards Faith is as if she was a repulsive stranger and is no longer the loving wife he held with high respect and in a pedestal. The story ends with Faith and Brown’s children following Brown’s funeral procession. In the beginning of Rip Van Winkle, Rip is portrayed as lazy husband who would do anything for others except his own husbandly duties. Rip Van Winkle’s wife, Dame Winkle, who is nothing like her husband goes around doing her wifely duties, as a wife and mother, regardless whether her husband Rip meets her needs. Despite been such a likeable person to his friends and neighbors, Winkle makes his wife’s life complicated. Dame Van Winkle is the typical wife that takes care of the obligations she has at home while Rip refuses to be productive around the house. The story emphasis’s how relentlessly Dame nags Rip. However if Rip had assumed his share of household responsibilities perhaps Rip might not have felt an impact. Dame’s life is further complicated by the absence of 20 years of her husband. When Rip returns Dame is dead and he is taken in by his daughter who replaces the maternal role that his wife (dame) had…