Rip Van Winkle

Improved Essays
Hesitant to do much more than is necessary in life; Rip Van Winkle sleeps away twenty years of his life without missing a beat. “Surely,” thought Rip, “I have not slept here all night” (Irving 70). Washington Irving, author of “Rip Van Winkle”, takes readers on a journey through time and change. Irving created a national mythology in “Rip Van Winkle”, using strange and exaggerated characters, magical and mysterious events and a positive message about a nation that is changing. Rip Van Winkle is a man whose company is enjoyed by others in the village, “a great favorite of all the good wives of the village” (63) and “children of the village, too, would shout for joy whenever he approached” (63). His wife, Dame Van Winkle was, however, quite …show more content…
Furthermore, his gun is rusted, his dog is gone, and the gully with which he had helped the man with the keg, was now a mountain stream. Slowly, Rip makes his way back to the village where he find his house “fallen to decay” (72), the Village Inn had become the Union Hotel, Dame Van Winkle had died and the colonies were now the United States. It is there at the Union Hotel that Rip comes to the realization he had slept for some twenty years. Irving takes the reader through this series of discoveries to help the reader to share in Rip’s emotional reaction to these revelations, “its twenty years since he went away from home with a gun” (76). The people of the village take Rip in without hesitation, he happens upon his daughter and she brings him home. Likewise, Irving shows Rip’s homecoming in a hopeful light, as if he had never been gone. In fact, he is able to return to his idle ways, without fear of repercussion from Dame Van Winkle. Rip Van Winkle, is a man who wants to avoid confrontation and revels in the positive. Irving walks up through a life’s story of a man who simply wanted to be. Of course, he was not looking for strife and enjoyed a more laid back existence. Irving used the exaggerated character of Dame Van Winkle to help connect the reader to Rip emotions throughout the story, he then created a magical place in the amphitheater

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Rip Van Winkle

    • 481 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The story of Rip Van Winkle, Rip Van Winkle lives in modern day America before the American Revolution. His village is a pleasant village, at the foot of New York's Catskill Mountains. He has Dutch Ancestry and is a story teller for the children. He is lazy though and his farm is falling apart. To get away from his wife he goes and finds a Dutchman drinking something and he drinks and falls asleep. He wakes up after twenty years and only his daughter recognizes him. The first mythical characteristic…

    • 481 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Symbolism In Rip Van Winkle

    • 2663 Words
    • 11 Pages

    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…

    • 2663 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Rip Van Winkle Mythology

    • 369 Words
    • 2 Pages

    convey a positive message about a nation or it’s people. One of the most well known American mythology is Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving and Charles Burke. The first characteristic Rip Van Winkle fits into is that it is set in the past in remote and exciting places. The story is set during the time King George lll had control over the colonies. Which was around the late 1700s. Rip Van Winkle had fallen asleep on the highest point of a mountain, which was miles and miles away from the village.…

    • 369 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays