Rip Van Winkle Literary Analysis

1247 Words5 Pages
Exam 3 I. During the Romantic period in America many authors and artists used many themes such as but not limited to: escapism, nature, the importance of the common man or individual, and so on. Washington Irving demonstrates themes and characteristics similar to what I have already touched on in his tale “Rip Van Winkle.” Washington Irving’s character Rip Van Winkle is a prime example of the individual because he does whatever he wants. The only thing wrong with Irving’s character Rip Van Winkle is that he doesn’t want to do anything. This could be a prime reason why his wife is constantly henpecking him, and why the townspeople enjoyed Rip Van Winkle’s company but had the complete opposite feeling about his wife. “The great error in Rip’s…show more content…
The gothic themes that Edgar Allen Poe uses in his work include death which I think is the hallmark of gothic literature, some sort of internal struggle such as insanity, and then lastly creepy places. In most of Edgar Allen Poe’s work death is the main theme, either a character is dying or has died and this in my opinion is what sets up the gothic feel of Poe’s stories. For example in Poe’s “Ligeia” the character Ligeia dies and Poe shows his gothic flare. “She died—and I, crushed into the very dust with sorrow, could no longer endure the lonely desolation of my dwelling in the dim decaying city by the Rhine.” (648) This is a very dark time for anyone, fictional or not, the narrator’s wife has just passed away and he feels a great loss. Then at the end of the story the narrator appears to have gone insane or just gone mad with grief because he begins to have visions of his dead wife Ligeia. “I fell back with a shudder upon the ottoman from which I had been so startlingly aroused, and again gave myself up to passionate waking visions of Ligeia.” (652) Here the author is going starting to go a bit cuckoo and is having visions of Ligeia who died much earlier in the story. The gothic theme of madness and insanity is very clear in this

More about Rip Van Winkle Literary Analysis

Open Document