Washington Irving Essay

Rip Van Winkle is a short story by Washington Irving about Rip Van Winkle, an old man who falls asleep in the Catskill Mountains and wakes up 20 years later when he hears his name being called. Rip Van Winkle is written in the American vernacular of the late 18th century, unlike most British literature. Rip Van Winkle is a short story by Washington Irving about Rip Van Winkle, an old man who falls asleep in the Catskill Mountains and wakes up 20 years later when he hears his name being called.

Rip Van Winkle is written in the American vernacular of the late 18th century, unlike most British literature. The beginning paragraph describes Rip’s situation. All that Rip does after that point can be considered to be an action or reflexive reaction resulting from the plans described in the first paragraph. Rip starts off by waking up very confused right after hearing his name being called out, presumably because Rip has awoken from a long sleep while people are talking around him causing confusion for Rip due to lack of context.

The loud sound made by Rip’s daughter and the dog startled Rip causing him to jump up. Rip then meets a group of people who Rip knows: his daughter and her husband (and their dog) and two men whom Rip also knows (Lawyer Doolittle and Mr. Hardkoppig). Rip does not recognize the rest of the people in the party Rip is introduced to, which causes Rip to remark how much they’ve changed since he last saw them 20 years ago. Rip ends up running back home after realizing that time has passed by so quickly.

The first paragraph should open with Rip waking up confused as seen in Wikipedia, followed by a short description on what Rip was doing before waking up confused, such as walking through the mountains. The following paragraphs should be Rip meeting the group of people and Rip finding out how much time has passed. The story ends with Rip wishing he could go back to those simpler times now that Rip knows what happened in 20 years, a hint at Rip wishing Rip could have a chance to live through those simple times again.

Only include the following if your teacher specifically asks for citations: Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving was written in 1819 and published by Wiley & Putnam. It is available at Project Gutenberg . The story takes place in New York during the 1770s or possibly the 1780s as characterized by its vernacular American English. Rip Van Winkle is considered a short story because it is less than 10,000 words long and Rip only interacts with a small number of people. Rip Van Winkle is part of a collection called The Sketch Book which was written by Washington Irving and also includes short stories such as “The Spectre Bridegroom”.

Rip, the main character does not go through any major transformation throughout the story and his goal remains to get back home even though he realizes that time has changed around him. Rip’s daughter who had been married at some point in Rip’s 20 year absence can be considered Rip’s love interest due to Rip reacting more positively towards her than Rip’s son-in-law and Rip desiring to remain alone with his daughter suggesting he prefers her company over others’. There is no antagonist in this story so the conflict stems from Rip trying to catch up on 20 years of time lost.

Rip is very knowledgeable about the area he lives in, Rip recognizes many local landmarks and is able to retrace his steps with ease. Rip’s knowledge about his surroundings is what Rip uses to return home after waking up confused. Rip Van Winkle is considered a short story rather than a novella or novel because it only includes three main characters (Rip, Rip’s daughter and Rip’s love interest) and Rip interacts with fewer than 10 people total including those three main characters. Washington Irving was born in New York City as the youngest of eleven children to Scottish parents.

His father was a wealthy businessman of Scotch-Irish descent who owned several sawmills the Hudson Valley as well as large tracts of land. Rip Van Winkle was first published in 1819 as part of Washington Irving’s short story collection “The Sketch Book” which also included Rip Van Winkle’s other story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Rip Van Winkle is considered the epitome of the American Dream because Rip has almost no money and yet Rip wakes up one day with plenty of money to go about his daily tasks.

Rip’s daughter married someone who is relatively wealthy at the end of the story further highlighting how Rip went from little to nothing to having riches. Rip Van Winkle is said by scholars to be written during Irving’s time working for the American government (1815-1832) when many people came to America looking for work and Irving wrote Rip Van Winkle in order to show how Rip wouldn’t believe Rip would be able to find work after Rip was laid off from his previous job.

Rip is a very optimistic character at the beginning of the story since Rip believes he will go back home and not have any trouble going about his day. Rip’s son-in-law can be considered a minor character because Rip meets him over halfway through the short story and only interacts with him once during that encounter when Rip’s son-in-law tells Rip where to find Rip’s daughter.

There is no true antagonist in this story which suggests that conflict stems from an internal struggle rather than an outside force trying to stop Rip from reaching a specific goal. At the end of the story, Rip returns to his previous life and Rip’s daughter and Rip’s love interest marry Rip’s son-in-law. Rip does not end up marrying Rip’s long time love as suggested by Rip wanting to remain alone with Rip’s daughter as opposed to remaining alone with Rip’s long time love which would have been the typical ending for a story.

Rip Van Winkle is Washington Irving’s most famous work, although Washington Irving was originally planning on publishing The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as a short story in The Sketch Book but because it was so well received he included both stories instead. Since its publication, Rip Van Winkle has become part of American culture and is commonly used when describing someone who slept through an event that should have woken them up. Rip Van Winkle’s daughter is the main reason Rip returns to his hometown since Rip realizes Rip can’t afford to live in a place where Rip doesn’t know anyone.

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