Romantic Literature is characterized by a propensity for nature, imagination, and intuition. It discards the importance of reason and conventions of society.
Characteristics of Romanticism are evident throughout Rip Van Winkle. Rip Van Winkle, the title character, lives by a higher principle which is a notable characteristic of romantic heroes. He is altruistic, and helps his neighbors without questions. Another characteristic displayed is Van Winkle's dislike of town life. He has a difficult time fulfilling his wife's expectations, and this leads to her nagging him. He tries to escape his home life and society by entering the woods.
The characters connection to nature is another key aspect of Romanticism that is apparent in the story. But perhaps the most obvious romantic trait is the use of imagination, and the discarding of reason. After encountering the stranger in the woods, becoming entranced, and following him to a gathering of more strangers, …show more content…
The character Calixta is bound by the conventions of society, and is afraid to pursue Alcee, the man she loves. It is unacceptable in the society of her day for a woman to pursue a man, and so Calixta loses Alcee to Clarisse who behaves unconventionally and declares her love to Alcee. Calixta must settle for Bobinot who is in love with her. Besides showing how the reality of society's conventions affects the lives of the characters, the story also explores another reality. At the end Chopin writes that Alcee has forgotten Calixta whom he whispered words of love to at the ball. She is like a myth, and Clarisse who is in front of him becomes the only one who is real to him. This is a reflection on the impact of actual reality, physical presence, as opposed to memory, or fantasy. Alcee ends up with Clarisse, not because he does not love Calixta, but because Clarisse is real, in front of him and declaring her