Rip Van Winkle

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  • Topic: Rip Van Winkle, Romanticism, Washington Irving
  • Pages : 2 (464 words )
  • Download(s) : 327
  • Published : March 20, 2011
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In the story “Rip Van Winkle”, Washington Irving creates an obvious romantic hero in his main character. Romantic heroes usually have a deep connection with the natural world, and are uneasy with all women because women are considered domestic. They are very youthful, very innocent, and they are also very independent. Another distinct characteristic that separates romantic heroes from typical heroes is their sense of honor based on personal beliefs rather than societal rules. Throughout the story, Rip Van Winkle displays his deep connection with the natural world. He also clearly displays his uneasiness towards his domestic wife. One clear example showing both is when Irving wrote “…his only alternative to escape from the labor of the farm and the clamor of his wife, was to take gun in hand and stroll away into the woods.” “…clamor of his wife…” shows Rip’s weakness towards his wife. As for the connection towards nature “stroll away into the woods…” would be a basic example. Like most romantic heroes, Rip shows many signs of being youthful, innocent and also very independent. When Irving writes “The children of the village too would shout with joy whenever he approached. He assisted at their sports, made their playthings…” he illustrates Rip’s adolescent qualities. Children enjoy Rip Van Winkle’s company, and Rip even participates in their activities which displays much youth. Besides being very youthful, Rip is also independent. Being independent he longs more than anything for freedom from his termagant wife. Termagant means abusive, which makes Rip Van Winkle appear to be especially innocent. Romantic heroes have a basic sense of honor, which is based upon personal beliefs rather than societal rules alone. Throughout the story, Rip Van Winkle follows a personal code of honor. This personal code of honor is clearly expressed when Washington Irving wrote “…he would never refuse to assist a neighbor even in the roughest toil…” This exact quote distinctly shows...
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