Rip Van Winkle

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The characters in Rip Van Winkle and Young Goodman Brown written respectively by Washington Irving and Nathaniel Hawthorne leave their individual communities and return with radically different perspectives (of their current lives) that change their attitudes and way of life in the remaining of their lives. Both stories are set in early American villages, Young Goodman Brown takes place in the 1700’s New England puritan settlement while Rip Van Winkle takes place over 100 years later in an English colony in eastern New York. Both authors were very clever to use different historical context to illustrate cultural aspects of early American societies in order to make the reader aware of how big of a role gender, politics and religion where to the societies. Strange/Supernatural forces challenge and would radically change both characters when they depart from their individual village and head into the forest/mountains and on their perspective, individual journeys. The external scenery that both of the authors provide, has both liberal and figurative meanings that simulate Rip Van Winkle’s and Young Goodman Brown’s experiences. Both characters go into dream-like states and are forced to face problems that would eventually expose their true identities. This shorts stories conclude with transformations in the two characters internal perspectives and external perceptions towards their respective communities and time periods.

Young Goodman Brown and Rip Van Winkle illustrate their early American life in a puritan village and New English colony. Overall, one of the most important details in the stories are the relationships these characters have with their wives. In the beginning of Young Goodman Brown, Brown adores his newly wed wife named Faith who he ironically refers to as a blessed angel on Earth. Through out his journey Brown puts his wife in a pedestal of purity despite learning the truth about his brother. Brown’s attitudes starts to change toward Faith during...
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