Rip Van Winkle and American Dream Essay

662 Words Apr 9th, 2005 3 Pages
In Rip Van Winkle, Irving shows his doubts the American Identity and the American dream. After the Revolutionary war, American was trying to develop its own course. They were free to govern their own course of development; however, some of them had an air of uncertainties on their own identity in this new country. Irving was born among this generation in the newly created United States of America, and also felt uncertainty about the American identity. Irving might be the writer that is the least positive about being an American. The main reason for this uncertainty is the new born American has no history and tradition while the Europe has a great one accumulated for thousands of years. Therefore, in order to solve this problem, Irving …show more content…
After seeing all of these changes, at first Rip doubts his own identity, especially when he sees his son who is" a precise counterpart of himself." However, before long, "he resumes his old walks and habits," because he doesn't compelled to change himself into a post Revolutionary American. Since it never happens as an event in his life, it makes no drastic change in Rip's life. Because he has no indent to fit in the new society to be who he has to be at the new age, he tries to retreat or stay in the past which is what the Americans need to lead their cultural life. For Irving, he doesn't want to an American who doesn't know who he is, but no past and no history means no American identity. He might want to recover the lost past cut by the revolutionary war, but for most people going back to the past is like going back to the embrace of Dame Van Winkle who can symbolize British government controlling over the Americans and the Rip Van Winkle. Just as Rip Van Winkle wants to escape his overbearing wife, the Americans also want to free from the control of the tyranny of England. Rip expression anxiety of identity, can compare to other people who have gone through similar transitions. Most people have faced that transition optimistically, but