The story of Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving is about a man, a country who is longing to be free. Rip Van Winkle also depicts the life of a town before and after "liberty." Rip Van Winkle's character portrays the society of America as it was seen by England at the time, as lazy and unproductive, "rather starve on a penny than work for a pound." (128) England is represented by Rip's wife, Dame Van Winkle, orderly and productive, "Everything she said or did was sure to produce a torrent of household eloquence." (128) The villagers stand for the American society in general and how it changed after becoming a free country.
Rip Van Winkle had different relationship with each aspect of his life which includes individuals, society, and nature. Rip had very good connections with his fellow town-folks as they cherished the fact that he did favors for them and he was always there to help out. "He would never even refuse to assist a neighbor in the roughest toil" (126) Children also loved Rip because he would always gladly play with them, "The children of the village, too, would shout with joy whenever he approached." (126) Rip also had close, loving connection with nature as he was often out in the mountains, hunting for squirrels with his dog or spending his day patiently fishing. He would, "Fish all day without a murmur, even though he should not be encouraged by a single nibble." (126) Nature meant home and fun for Rip Van Winkle and his dog Wolf since they were taking refuge from his nagging wife Dame Van Winkle. Rip had a bad relationship with his wife as she always nagged him about how he needed to work on their farm and help out at home. "His wife kept continually dinning in his ears about his idleness, his carelessness, and the ruin he was bringing on his family. Morning, noon, and night, her tongue was incessantly going." (128) Rip's peaceful, content, careless nature greatly annoyed his wife, on the other hand fellow villagers found these