Rip Van Winkle, By Washington Irving Essay

2663 Words Apr 5th, 2015 11 Pages
From the very beginning, it is clear that “Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving is a story that was written with the American people in mind. Written at a time when America was in a constant state of change, and as its citizens were struggling to form their own identities, “Rip Van Winkle” speaks to the alienation many Americans felt during the late 1700s and early 1800s. Fresh off of the American Revolution, America was trying to form its own identity as a country free from English culture and crown. Irving’s main character, Rip Van Winkle, symbolizes the struggle of early America from pre-revolution to post revolution. Through telling stories, Rip Van Winkle is able to create a feeling of being at home in the new world by connecting the old ways with the present. In addition, the story itself describes America during its early revolutionary history. Furthermore, Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle” serves as an allegory of early American history.
Irving’s story is about a man named Rip Van Winkle who lives in a village founded by Dutch colonists along the Hudson River. Rip Van Winkle is very popular throughout his village. He is described as, “A simple good-natured man; he was, moreover, a kind neighbor and an obedient henpecked husband” (Irving 9). He is loved by children and dogs alike. He will help out anyone and works tirelessly but without profit and he is obedient to his wife Dame Van Winkle. Dame Van Winkle keeps Rip under her thumb and continually puts him down.…

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