Critical Analysis of Rip Van Winkle by Washington

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After reading keenly, we can see the writers’ view of social values. At first, Rip appears to be an exquisite individual who supports the people around him. He lends a hand when he should, but that is not the case when the story comes to an end. He is depicted as a lazy individual who fails to recognize his responsibility for the family and the community. He fails to take part in the country’s history- however, through is actions we learn that historical occurrences are less significant to our daily happenings.
We quickly get to see Rip’s problem because he is not motivated to do much work around his house. At some point, he fails to take care of his family, yet it is his responsibility to do so. It for the same reason that Rip is not in good terms with his wife. He has fans around the community, but it is very ironical that he is a disappointment to the family (Wyman, 217). He also portrays the type of husband who is constantly henpecked by his wife.
The writer seems to point out Rip’s actions. In the book, Rip is seen to harass always by his wife for not being responsible. One day during the autumn he goes out to the Kaatskill Mountain with his companion wolf. In a way, he appears to care so much about wolf than his family. In his mind, he goes out expecting to find peace in a secluded place. On his way, he hears a man calling out his name loudly while carrying a keg (A “Rip Van Winkle, 301).
Rip offers his help to the man as he takes the keg to the amphitheater somewhere in the woods. On reaching there, he some other men dressed in some old clothes while playing a game of nine pins similar to bowling. The racket makes a thunderous sound while no one speaks (Wyman, 218). Rip starts to drink some liquor and afterward the effects of the alcohol are seen in him.
Rip is depicted as the individual who is not concerned since he drinks and forgets his dog. He wakes afterward to find his lovely dog missing. Also, many things have changed around him due to his actions; we see his beards have overgrown while his gun is rusted. At that point, he worries notices the men playing the piano had already gone. Lastly, he gets worried about what Dame Van would say about his late return (A “Rip Van Winkle, 301).
A keen study of Rip reveals him as an individual who is not aware of the things happening around him. When he gets back to the town, he realizes many things have changed. He sees a picture of George Washington hanging around and at the same time the people look different. He later meets his son and the son makes it clear that the father had been missing for more than twenty years.
In a way, rip is depicted as a character that is not aware of his actions. He does not realize what is happening around him. One does not understand how twenty years have gone while he went missing. He does not even realize that someone having his name would automatically be his son. Though it sounds funny, it shows his ignorance. Even though he went away to avoid his nagging wife, perhaps he should have come back for the sake of his family especially his children (Wyman, 220).
The specific details from the book clearly show that the story is just a fantasy because none in his mind would choose to go away for twenty years leaving his family behind. Rip is an ineffectual hero who cannot stand to support his family and face his wife. He goes away for twenty years when he comes back no one bothers to question his disappearance.
Since Rip is American, he is portrayed as one whose character is against the American dream. He does not work hard for himself; he lacks ambition, and he does not seem to make any progressive step in life. He only likes chatting and making friends. When he comes back after twenty years, he does not even care about the changes that have taken place. He is not even surprised by meeting some with a name similar to his. For sure, he is an anti-American hero since he does fail to take part in the country’s history (Wyman, 222).
Dame Van is the main antagonist in the story since he is she subsequently berates Rip whom everyone else in the neighborhood likes. Throughout the book, we only see her negative character except when she only maintained the house. He criticizes her husband implying that he has failed in his roles. If the two are contrasted, the man would be regarded as a deadbeat while the wife is a henpecker. In conclusion, we can be certain that one’s life is meant to deal with the unpleasing encounter in life. As much as Van finds a happy ending, he might be considered as an insane and dangerous individual.

Works Cited
“A “Rip Van Winkle” On Inventions”. Sci Am 1.19 (1859): 301-301. Web.
Wyman, Sarah. “Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle: A Dangerous Critique of A New Nation”. ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes and Reviews 23.4 (2010): 216-222. Web.

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