Rip Van Winkle

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Rip Van Winkle Essay

The story, “Rip Van Winkle”, written by Washington Irving, has many different elements of a mythology. The story takes place in the Catskill Mountains where the protagonist of the story, named Rip, wanders off in hopes of fleeing from his nagging wife. He then encounters very peculiar men who offer him a drink and he soon finds himself waking up in the same spot twenty years later. All of these aspects (set in the past, mysterious characters, and strange environments) show different characteristics of a mythical story.

The story takes place before and after the American Revolutionary War, which was many years ago, although it wasn’t too far from Irving’s present. Rip lives in a village at the foot of the Catskill Mountains. These mountains are rumored to have very strange occurrences happening within them. Due to the wrath of his obnoxious wife, nothing stops Rip from visiting them one day. When he comes across very strangely dressed men, he becomes curious and takes a sip from the beverage they offer. Setting a story in the past, having the main character visit an exciting place, and including mysterious characters are all important attributes to a mythical story.

There are many reasons why featuring these different concepts lure readers in more and make the story increasingly interesting. Having the story take place during the American Revolutionary war reels readers in because it’s different from what they’re used to. It intrigues those who don’t know much about the time period and projects curiosity to those who would like to learn more about the people who lived within the era. Setting the majority of the story in a cryptic area, such as the Catskill Mountains, creates a sense of the unknown. It leaves readers inquiring more about what could possibly be found in the mountains, and creates excitement when Rip decides to explore them. Having strange men, who are thought to be ghosts, creates a moment of intoxicating extremity....
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