The Dangers Of Reality In Rip Van Winkle By Washington Irving

808 Words 4 Pages
Most people try to escape their reality at some point in their lives. In “Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving the main character, Rip Van Winkle, uses several methods to avoid his home life. The narrator tells the tale of Rip Van Winkle, a man who has a difficult time managing his home life. He neglects his farm work and family. His wife is constantly harassing Rip about how useless he is. Rip escapes any way he can. Once while he is hunting in the woods, a stranger beckons him. Rip follows the strange man and helps him carry a keg of liquor up the mountain. Once they reach their destination, Rip notices several other strange men as well as a flagon holding their liquor. When no one is looking, Rip drinks from the flagon and falls unconscious. …show more content…
The narrator describes Rip as the type of man who has a “foolish, well-oiled disposition” (12). Rip’s friendliness mixed with his naivety make him too careless. Rip hears his name called right before he descends the mountain. As he looks around, he comes across a strange man in the woods and he does not flee or hide. He actually helps the stranger carry a keg of liquor up the mountain. Once the two men reach their destination, Rip sees several other strange men. The strangers fill flagons with the liquor from the keg and return to their activities. Even though he is wary of the strangers, he drinks from the flagon until he loses consciousness. Rip does not do the rational thing and leave the clearing immediately after placing the keg down. He trusts that the liquor in the flagon is good enough to drink so he takes it upon himself to try it. Even though he drinks the liquor of his own volition, he curses the flagon and the men who provided it once he awakens to a new reality. Rip Van Winkle is a generally happy man brought down by years of incessant harassment. He is well known and loved by the children of the village. He is friendly and engaged with his friends and neighbors. He is also incredibly gullible. Rip’s childlike mind, helpful hands, and caring heart cause Rip to lose his life that he despises. He is given a new reality just in an inconvenient

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