Rip Van Wrinkle, By Washington Irving

844 Words Oct 5th, 2015 4 Pages
In 1819 one of the most influential folk tales in American literature was “Rip Van Wrinkle” published by Washington Irving. This folk tale intertwines fantasy with reality and captures what it is like waking up in an anomalous yet familiar place. The main themes of Rip Van Wrinkle is Rip’s laziness, Dame’s henpecking, and the difference between Pre-Revolutionary and Post-Revolutionary times. This American Mythology follows a slothful man who desires not to be bothered by his “shrewish” wife and the toil of having a farm. When going to the Catskills Mountains to nap Rip gets his wish by encountering peculiar elderly man who gives Rip a sip of an alcoholic drink from a mysterious keg. Although he is free from his burdens, he misses twenty years of his life
One of the themes in Rip Van Wrinkle is Dame’s constant pestering and antagonizing. Dame Van Wrinkle is portrayed as Rip’s stereotypical henpecking wife who has no dialogue in the tale but remains comical storyline. She is seen as an acerbic old woman as described in this quote, “tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use” (Irving, 65). Even when Mrs. Wrinkle dies it’s from breaking a blood vessel while anathematizing a peddler.
Dame’s pestering is simply an effect Mrs. Wrinkle constantly being in a state of stress and anxiety. She has to take care of her children Rip the second and Judith also her husband Rip who eschews doing tough labor. Unlike Rip…
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