Individuality And Nature In Rip Van Winkle

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How does Irving incorporate at least three of these mythical-story characteristics into
"Rip Van Winkle"? What is the impact of these characteristics on the story or on the reader’s experience of the story? Two very good questions that will soon be answered. In this essay, You will learn about Rip Van Winkle; a man who loved nature and zoning out. You will also read the brilliant writing style of Washington Irving, and how it pulls the reader in.

The three characteristics in Rip Van Winkle are individuality, nature, and the supernatural. First one most prominent is the story’s love of nature. You see it all the way through, from the beginning to end. There was so much vivid imagery when Irving talked about nature, you actually felt as if
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He wasn’t afraid to be himself, he had quirks, was lazy, and not a hero type. He cared more for other people than himself, which could be construed as heroism if you look at it differently. Much like a woman, he talked to neighboring husband’s, “-listlessly over village gossip, or tell endless sleepy stories about nothing.” (p. 66) When his wife scolded him in front of his friends, he decided enough was enough, took his gun in hand and left to the solidarity of the woods, followed by his trusty friend Wolf. Rip found himself atop a high peak of the Kaatskills (now renamed “Catskills”), He found the solitude blissful and even the reverberations of the gunshots as he killed squirrels caused him no trouble. He decided to take a break and found a nice grassy knoll that overlooked a cliff. He watched in awe as afternoon turned to evening, and as he contemplated returning home, someone called out to him.

This leads to the third and final characteristic… The supernatural! There’s a lot of speculation as to whether or not the supernatural happenings are real, but let’s focus on the story. Now in “Rip Van Winkle”, Rip doesn’t necessarily talk about this subject too much but it’s still around. When he’s in the village with the children incessantly flocking him, he tells them stories about witches and ghosts. But the most illustrious indications of the supernatural, is when a strange voice calls out
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He found out that his wife is dead,every dog barks at him, including his own, his house is old and broken, and his beard has grown a foot long. Yet, after all the changes, he resumed his old habits of sitting on the bench outside the inn. In time, Rip’s daughter, son, and several villagers identify him, and he is accepted by the others.

But what is the impact of these characteristics on the story or on the reader’s experience of the story? Well Rip’s individuality shows readers to be themselves, and sometimes routines are pleasurable. Nature shows us to look at the little things, and to embrace the warmth of nature’s hand, to find solitude in her artwork. And the supernatural shows us to look for the impossible, or it will look for you and show you unimaginable things.

All in all, Irving makes clear that change is inevitable and that one pays a huge price by trying to evade it. He also makes it clear in “Rip Van Winkle” that certain fundamental values may be lost when people prefer change to stability and are willing to sacrifice everything for material prosperity. Irving also shows how Rip is a perfect image of America. He was immature, careless, and above all, innocent, and that may be why he has become a universal

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