“Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving
- Pages: 2
- Word count: 342
- Category: Franklin
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“Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving is a fiction story of a character whose destiny was affected by marvelous circumstances. In comparison to Benjamin’s Franklin Autobiography and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self reliance, there are some things that are similar, but overall Rip Van Winkle is completely different; in other words, its main character is unique. I found several evidences proving that.
First, the book itself is written in an inimitable style. In the very beginning of this work with the usage of real names, dates and places the author makes the reader believe the reality of the tale. It also describes the everyday life of American Colonists, making the part of the book being a resource of historical information. But the events taking place there are doubtful and generally cannot pretend to be true at all. The story itself is full of irony and sarcasm, and it also reveals a bunch of flows that are common to the society regardless to the time period. For example, the main character of the book, Rip Van Winkle, has a drawback – “insuperable aversion to all kinds of profitable labour”(page 457).
He would rather put an effort in doing something useless than put the same effort in doing things helpful for himself; he doesn’t mind doing hard labor for someone else, but he doesn’t care about his own farm. Moreover, he is sure that there is no use to work there. Another topic that the author touches is the power of woman over the man in the family. Dame Van Winkle is a shrew and terrifies the life of Rip, who, on the contrary, has a very flexible character. Irving defines him as a “simple good natured man, a kind neighbor, and an obedient, henpecked husband”. The figure that Washington Irving creates is also unique. According to Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography, a man should pursue the goal to be perfect by developing and mastering his Virtues, though the achievement of perfection seems for him slightly possible. On contrary, Rip Van Winkle never