Social Responsibility In Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle

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It is easy to confuse the intentions of Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle” because the readers become enthralled in the comical nature of a man inadvertently being thrust into the future while he slept. In this short story, Irving demonstrates the changing world surrounding Rip Van Winkle who is determined to avoid the stressors of a terrible marriage, and the burden of social responsibility. The idea that Mr. Rip mistakably slept for over 20 years overshadows the structural concept of the story as a whole. Irving’s story suggests that in order for Rip to ever be happy he must free himself from the tyranny of Damn Van Winkle. This tale describes the life of a small town man named Rip Van Winkle. Every person in this small town near the Hudson Valley adored Rip because he was ready to lend a hand to everyone and anyone. He even amused the children with play. The main character is described by the people as caring. Although all the townspeople are accepting of Rip his wife, Dame Van Winkle, is another story. At the point when Rip's wife appears into the story, she is presented as the underlining problem of Mr. Van Winkle’s woes and struggles. Irving writes that “Times grew worse and worse with Rip Van Winkle as years of matrimony rolled on,” (Irving, 1819, p. 5). It is understandable why the…show more content…
Even though he is overwhelmed with all of the changes that has surrounded him he is no more afraid than of what his wife may say or do to him (Irving, 1819). Fortunately he does not have to worry about that since Dam Van Winkle is dead when he returns. All of her anger and disposition appeared to be her undoing. This detail signifies the liberty of the entire country and the individual liberty of Rip. In the end, Rip is reunited with his family. Although he had been gone for 20 years his son managed to share some of his father’s quality and has adopted his lethargic

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