Kaatskill mountains rip van winkle

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kaatskill mountains rip van winkle

Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving


Rip Van Winkle is considered by some critics to be one of the finest early American short stories. Almost everyone knows the basic story, but Id guess not all that many people have actually read Washington Irvings original story. **Warning: if youre one of those vanishingly rare people whos not familiar with this story, there are major spoilers after the next picture below.**

It took a little digging to find the full original version of this old story online; it turns out that its included in a collection of stories by Washington Irving called The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., available for free at Gutenberg here.

Rip van Winkle is a villager living in New York state, just before the American Revolution in the 1770s. Hes also a layabout who likes hunting and hanging out at the tavern with friends, but not so much working on his farm. I had never realized how totally useless as a husband Rip Van Winkle was, and how extremely shrewish his wife was. Rip is willing to help anyone else but is a complete failure at providing for his own family; his wife spends every waking moment nagging and yelling at him. They make each other completely miserable.


So its almost for the best when one day Rip goes walking in the mountains and meets up with a group of outlandish men playing nine-pins and drinking from a flagon. Rip helps himself to their liquor, and eventually falls into a drunken sleep. Twenty years later he wakes up and makes his way back to his village, to find that America is now independent from Britain, his children have grown, his wife has died, and he can now sit around and be lazy in peace, respected as a patriarch of the village and a symbol of the old times.


Ive looked at some critics analyses of Rip Van Winkle, and there are some intriguing ideas about what this story means:

* A symbol of Americas escape from British rule, with Britain playing the role of the mean, despotic wife.
* A commentary on how the more things change, the more they stay the same.
* A cautionary tale about people who live irresponsible lives and rely on other people to take care of them:
Rips daughter took him home to live with her; she had a snug, well-furnished house, and a stout cheery farmer for a husband, whom Rip recollected for one of the urchins that used to climb upon his back. As to Rips son and heir, who was the ditto of himself, seen leaning against the tree, he was employed to work on the farm; but evinced an hereditary disposition to attend to any thing else but his business.
It is interesting how Rips passive personality doesnt really change over the course of the story. The news that his wife has died affects his life much more than the news of the American Revolution.

The character of the shrewish wife is one-dimensional, but the more I think about Rip Van Winkle and how he reacts (or fails to react) to life and the events around him, the more Im intrigued with this story. In fact, the process of writing this review convinced me to up my rating from 3 stars to 4. Theres more here than initially meets the eye. Its an interesting character analysis as well as a fun story.
File Name: kaatskill mountains rip van winkle.zip
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Published 31.12.2018

Washington Irving - Rip Van Winkle

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Rip Van Winkle is an amiable farmer who wanders into the Catskill Mountains , where he comes upon a group of dwarfs playing ninepins. Rip accepts their offer of a drink of liquor and promptly falls asleep. When he awakens, 20 years later, he is an old man with a long white beard; the dwarfs are nowhere in sight. The old man entertains the townspeople with tales of the old days and of his encounter with the little men in the mountains. Rip Van Winkle.

Rip Van Winkle Today

When I moved to Saugerties, one of the first places I explored was the old library. At the far end of the room, hidden behind the shelves, there was a reading alcove with some wooden chairs gathered around a fireplace with a tiled mantle. Here in a series of images, we find the familiar tale of a henpecked husband, who, looking for peace of mind, hiked with his dog, Wolf, and his fowling-piece to the mountain source of Kaaterskill Creek. Once there, he met the short, stout ghosts of Henry Hudson and his men and accepted an evening drink that took 20 years to sleep off. But Saugerties may have a unique claim to this character.


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