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Rip Van Winkle and Romanticism
Transcript of Rip Van Winkle and Romanticism
January 24th, 2013 Rip Van Winkle and Romanticism “Whenever he went dodging about the village, he was surrounded by a troop of them, hanging on his skirts, clambering on his back, and playing a thousand tricks on him with impunity; and not a dog would bark at him throughout the neighborhood.” Rip Van Winkle pg. 9 It is unreasonable to think that everyone loved Rip Van Winkle so much that not even a dog would bark at him. Washington Irving is asking you to suspend your disbelief that Rip would not be liked by the whole community and then barely tolerated by his wife. “…houses of the original settlers standing within a few years, built of small yellow bricks brought from Holland, having latticed windows and gable fronts, surmounted with weathercocks.” Rip Van Winkle pg. 8 In the 1700s everyone would have understood what a gable front or weathercocks were. Today these are not common things. Then, however, these were domestic symbols that would have been seen. This helps set the stage for Rip Van Winkle, because they were common elements of the 1700s. “Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical hues and shapes of these mountains, and they are regarded by all the good wives, far and near, as perfect barometers.” Rip Van Winkle pg. 7 Another piece of romanticism was the personification of things that were not alive, like mountains. This gave these elements the appearance of being Supernatural. In Rip Van Winkle the villagers thought that there were mystical happenings on the mountains that overlooked the town. “He rubbed his eyes—it was a bright sunny morning. The birds were hopping and twittering among the bushes, and the eagle was wheeling aloft, and breasting the pure mountain breeze.” Rip Van Winkle pg. 16 Part of romanticism was the detailed description of the world around the characters. It was meant to capture the whole picture so that a reader could understand the world that was being created in the story. This description from Rip Van Winkle is an example of how the romantics were concerned with the whole picture. “In fact, he declared it was of no use to work on his farm; it was the most pestilent little piece of ground in the whole country; every thing about it went wrong, and would go wrong, in spite of him.” Rip Van Winkle pg. 10
“Rip Van Winkle, however, was one of those happy mortals, of foolish, well-oiled dispositions, who take the world easy” Rip Van Winkle pg. 10
“Rip’s heart died away at hearing of these sad changes in his home and friends, and finding himself thus alone in the world. Every answer puzzled him too, by treating of such enormous lapses of time, and of matters which he could not understand…” Rip Van Winkle pg. 21
A romantic hero is a character who is complex. They are not how we think of heroes everyday- as someone who swoops in and saves the day. A hero in a romantic story is someone who is fixated with something unreasonable. Rip Van Winkle for example, fell asleep for twenty years; he is then saddened by the new world around him when he learns of all his lost friends. Use of Imagination Use of Everyday and Common Use of Nature Use of Supernatural Happenings Use of a Romantic Hero Picture From:
"Kitty Dunn." 1055 Triple M. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2013. <http://www.1055triplem.com/Am-I-Rip-Van-Winkle-/11278487?pid=93177>.