Rip Van

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Washington Irving’s short story, “Rip Van Winkle”, tells the tale of a man unlike any other in his community. Rip Van Winkle’s village praised him for his voluntary efforts yet henpecked by his tempered wife, Dame Van Winkle. During the time of Rip Van Winkle’s life, he resided in America under King George III’s rule. Rip wakes up from a twenty year nap to find out that not only was his misery-inducing wife dead but his country was free from Great Britain. Author, Washington Irvin compares Dame Van Winkle’s dictator persona to King George III and how their dominance rises and falls within the short story. In addition, Irving displays Rip’s individual priorities by living life unshackled by society’s “standards” and doing what was in his best interest. Together these examples have pinpointed key analysis from Washington Irving’s short story. King George III meticulously informed the people of his country that they must obey his orders without questioning his system. This brought an upheaval to the citizen’s of England who already sailed to the Americas to gain independence from the King. The King structured the society of his people to take orders and live accordingly to British norms. Within this story, Rip’s wife’s personality and disposition resembles King George III and Great Britain’s model of sovereignty. Just like King George was poorly gossiped about, villagers as well, blamed Dame for the Van Winkle’s family squabbles. The short story states “Rip was a great favourite among all the good wives of the village, who, as usual with the amiable sex, took his part in all family altercations, laying all blame on Dame Van Winkle” (Irving, p.31). It gives the impression that Dame Van Winkle has taken on King George’s public face as her dictating ways backfired within the village. Dame Van Winkle is only present during the time of Great Britain’s reign and when Rip wakes up from his twenty-year nap to find that he is a free citizen of America, Dame in addition is...