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Rip Van Winkle doc Ë reader 9781883789404 Free Û ❰Reading❯ ➿ Rip Van Winkle Author Washington Irving – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk Washington Irving's story of a man who sleeps for twenty years in the Catskill Mountains and awakens to find a changed world has been a classic of American Literature This deluxeWashington Irving's story of a man who sleeps for twenty years in the Catskill Mountains and 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 I'd guess not all that many people have actually read Washington Irving's original story Warning if you're one of those vanishingly rare people who's 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 it's 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 He's 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 it's 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 liuor 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 I've looked at some critics' analyses of Rip Van Winkle and there are some intriguing ideas about what this story means A symbol of America's escape from British rule with Britain playing the role of the mean despotic wife A commentary on how the things change the they stay the same A cautionary tale about people who live irresponsible lives and rely on other people to take care of themRip's 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 Rip's 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 businessIt is interesting how Rip's passive personality doesn't really change over the course of the story The news that his wife has died affects his life much than the news of the American RevolutionThe character of the shrewish wife is one dimensional but the I think about Rip Van Winkle and how he reacts or fails to react to life and the events around him the I'm intrigued with this story In fact the process of writing this review convinced me to up my rating from 3 stars to 4 There's here than initially meets the eye It's an interesting character analysis as well as a fun story

pdf ß Rip Van Winkle ¾ Washington Irving

Edition carefully reproduces thity four of Arthir Rackham's enchanting and exuisuute paintin Wonderfully vivid tale of a man who loses 20 years of his life overnight in the Catskill Mountains Irving is a delightful narrator who employs some irony and humor along with his powerful sense of place to enthrall his readerI had of course read this long ago in my youth I found it was a bit different than I had remembered and well worth taking the time to read again

Washington Irving ¾ Rip Van Winkle book

Rip Van WinkleAwakens to find a changed world has been a classic of American Literature This deluxe gift Rip Van Winkle is one of those stories we seem to recollect from childhood but perhaps are not sure exactly how It feels like a traditional folk tale; as though its origins have been lost in antiuity Indeed the name “Rip Van Winkle” now seems synonymous with the idea of someone going to sleep meeting up in his dreams with fairy folk and waking to discover that many years had passed in the interim Yet the idea of the story is present in many culturesThe short story Rip Van Winkle was in fact first published in 1819 and written by the American author essayist biographer and historian Washington Irving This review is for a large edition of his story with beautiful reproductions by Arthur Rackham now revered as a major artist of the “golden age” of children’s illustration It was first printed in 1905 and these 34 illustrations he lovingly created for it established his reputation as the leading decorative illustrator of his timeIt is sometimes said that Washington Irving was America’s first great author and that Rip Van Winkle was the first successful American short story Rip Van Winkle is similar in feel to the English literary works of the time and was written while Washington Irving was actually living in England in Birmingham although the story is set in New York’s Catskill or “Kaatskill” MountainsThe action takes place around the time of the American War of Independence in a small very old village which was founded by some of the earliest Dutch settlers at the foot of the Catskill Mountains It tells the story of a “simple good natured fellow” Rip Van Winkle Although he is descended from gallant soldiers he is a kind peaceful man well known for being popular with all his neighbours in the village But he has one flaw “Rip Van Winkle was one of those happy mortals of foolish well oiled dispositions who take the world easy eat white bread or brown whichever can be got with least thought or trouble and would rather starve on a penny than work for a pound”He is not exactly lazy; in fact he is perfectly willing to spend all day helping someone else with their jobs But he seems to be completely unable to do any work which could help his own household or make any money He is continually berated by his wife and Dame Van Winkle has no problem shouting insults after him and tracking him down in the village to scold him in public He is forced to suffer in “the fiery furnace of domestic tribulation” Yet he maintains his gentle carefree demeanour and as a conseuence all the women and children in the village love him and side with him against his wife Even the dogs do not bark at himRip Van Winkle takes to avoiding his wife and and escapes from her presence whenever he can But to his chagrin this does not improve matters but seems to make them worse “Times grew worse and worse with Rip Van Winkle as years of matrimony rolled on; a tart temper never mellows with age and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use”Sometimes when he tries to console himself he freuents a sort of club of other dreamers and layabouts who meet on a bench outside a small inn The landlord of the inn and the leader of this “philosophical or political” group is Nicholaus Vedder He never speaks but everyone understands his opinions by the manner of how he smokes his pipe The group of men gossip maybe discussing “current” events when they find an old newspaper and tell each other stories to pass the time But even here Rip Van Winkle cannot escape from his wife’s scolding What is he to do?As time goes on things continue to get worse His wife is convinced that the farm’s bad luck is because of his indolence so she nags him morning noon and night Rip spends and time in the outdoors with his one companion — his dog Wolf — who for some reason is just as badly treated by Dame Van WinkleOn one of his trip to the woods Rip Van Winkle finds he has wandered to one of the highest points in the Catskill Mountains He knows he will not be able to get home before dark and feels even sorry for himself as he sits down to rest in a ravine Then he hears a voice call out his name and sees a shadowy figure in need of help Willingly he approaches the strange looking fellow “On nearer approach he was still surprised at the singularity of the stranger’s appearance He was a short suare built old fellow with thick bushy hair and a grizzled beard His dress was of the antiue Dutch fashion — a cloth jerkin strapped around the waist — several pair of breeches the outer one of ample volume decorated with rows of buttons down the sides and bunches at the knees”Together they lug a heavy keg higher and higher until they reach an amphitheatre in the woods Here are gathered a collection of similarly uaint looking men all mutely playing nine pins Oddly although it seems as though they should be enjoying themselves they are silent and grim Rip Van Winkle is very puzzledHis strange companion starts to serve drinks from the keg they have carried and eventually Rip Van Winkle has one for himselfIt tastes so delicious that he keeps going back for until he is uite drunk and falls into a stuporWhen he wakes up in the morning he beings to worry about what Dame Van Winkle will say to him He gets up and is surprised to find that he feels uite stiff Reaching for his gun he discovers another one which is rusty and worm eaten Perhaps the strange men have tricked him and swapped his gun? His dog Wolf mysteriously is nowhere to be seen and does not respond to Rip Van Winkle’s calls Worst of all when he tries to retrace his steps the amphitheatre seems to be an impenetrable wall of rock Even some of the natural features and landmarks of the area seem to have changed By now the reader if they do not recognise Rip Van Winkle’s name has a fair idea of what must have happened from all the myths about fairy folk and their mischief common to so many culturesRip Van Winkle makes his way back to his village “As he approached the village he met a number of people but none whom he knew which somewhat surprised him for he had thought himself acuainted with every one in the country round Their dress too was of a different fashion from that to which he was accustomed They all stared at him with eual marks of surprise and whenever they cast their eyes upon him invariably stroked their chins The constant recurrence of this gesture induced Rip involuntarily to do the same when to his astonishment he found his beard had grown a foot long”The children shout after him and the dogs bark He no longer recognises the village as it once was as it seems to be far larger Is he going crazy? The only thing he can recognise is the natural scenery The wine must have made him lose his mind Surely when he gets home it will be alright?But his house is now in complete disrepair and abandoned Where are his wife and children? The inn where he used to meet his friends has disappeared too Rip Van Winkle is totally confused but we have final proof of the passge of time from his interesting description “A large rickety wooden building stood in its place with great gaping windows some of them broken and mended with old hats and petticoats and over the door was painted “The Union Hotel by Jonathan Doolittle” Instead of the great tree which used to shelter the uiet little Dutch inn of yore there now was reared a tall naked pole with something on the top that looked like a red nightcap and from it was fluttering a flag on which was a singular assemblage of stars and stripes he recognized on the sign however the ruby face of King George but even this was singularly metamorphosed The red coat was changed for one of blue and buff a sword was stuck in the hand instead of a sceptre the head was decorated with a cocked hat and underneath was painted in large characters GENERAL WASHINGTON”This “George Washington” sign hangs where there used to be a picture of George III None of his old ruminating drinking companions are there either; the inn is full of completely different people and they seem very argumentative rather than companionable “The very character of the people seemed changed There was a busy bustling disputatious tone about it instead of the accustomed phlegm and drowsy tranuility”The people crowd around him demanding to know what political party he belongs to Worried Rip Van Winkle protests that he is a loyal subject of the king This of course is now the worst thing he could have said The people declare him to be a traitor and a Tory When he asks about his friends he is told that Nicholaus Vedder has been dead for eighteen years and Van Bummel is now in CongressIn desperation Rip Van Winkle asks if they know anyone called Rip Van Winkle and the townspeople point out a different lazy looking man the image of himself “His son Rip an urchin begotten in his own likeness promised to inherit the habits with the old clothes of his father”When a vaguely familiar woman approaches he uestions her and realises that she must be his daughter now also grown to an adult She tells him that her father went out with his gun one day twenty years previously and had never been heard of since Yet Rip Van Winkle insists that for him it has only been one night so all the townspeople think this tottering old man is crazy The one piece of good news Rip Van Winkle decides is that Dame Van Winkle has recently diedEventually the town’s oldest inhabitant Peter Vanderdonk vouches for Rip Van WinkleHe says that he has heard tell of the ghosts of the explorer Hendrick Hudson and the crew of the “Half Moon” who all vanished without trace many years before and now appear once every twenty years They would play at ninepins bowl and keep an eye on the Catskill Mountains Rip Van Winkle is convinced that this is what happened and he contentedly goes to live with his daughter who is now married to a “cheery farmer”He is much happier than he ever was with Dame Van Winkle and nobody minds him being lazy now because he is so old So he returns to the inn and again becomes well loved as a patriarch of the village chronicling the times “before the war” With his dog Wolf he sits “in the shade through a long lazy summer’s day talking listlessly over village gossip or telling endless sleepy stories about nothing”Rip Van Winkle does eventually learn about the important events which had happened in America’s history but he does not care about any oppressors or about any Revolutionary War The only government that he cares about having thrown off is the “yoke of matrimony and the tyranny of Dame Van Winkle”Diedrich Knickerbocker adds a postscript to emphasise the truth of the story and gives a brief history of the magic and fables associated with the Catskill MountainsThis structure of a story within a story now feels as if it dates from an earlier time It was a popular style in this early part of the 19th century and a little later too The “travel essays” of an American in England were deliberately written in a style which would appeal to English tastes This meant that Washington Irving became the first American literary author to be widely read abroad and his “sketches” remind one of the work of Charles Dickens who also wrote travel essays in this style An elaborate sort framing was common in American fiction up to about the middle of the nineteenth century; another author who used it was Nathaniel Hawthorne Presumably it is designed to add an air of authenticity to the workWashington Irving chose a pseudonym for much of his early writing At the age of nineteen he wrote newspaper articles under the pseudonym “Jonathan Oldstyle” and in 1809 he published “The History of New York” purporting to be the work of “Geoffrey Crayon Gentleman” Rip Van Winkle is part of a collection entitled “The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon Gent” which he published in 1819; another famous story from that collection is “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” Even this is not straightforward as there is a headnote which claims that the story is a posthumously discovered work of “Diedrich Knickerbocker an old gentleman of New York” This made me laugh and at this point I suspected that Washington Irving might have his tongue firmly in his cheek As an English reader I did not know that New Yorkers were referred to as “Knickerbockers” but only that the name was used as a term for baggy female undergarments of the last century “Knickers” to this day means female underwear to English people It is of course additionally used to mean a very old Dutch garment but in England those knee length baggy trousers would be called breeches” or a bit later plus fours” It is of course this latter meaning which is now understood as after Irving’s story Knickerbocker” became an accepted name for a descendant of the Dutch settlers of New York Apparently Knickerbocker” literally means toy marble baker” and Irving borrowed this pen name from his friend Herman Knickerbocker Still it made me giggleThe story is very droll and enjoyable addressing timeless issues although firmly set within a traditional rural family set up within a Western society These caricatures of a henpecked husband and a petticoat tyrant of a wife or alternatively viewed an overworked resentful drudge and a layabout husband are still with us today Shakespeare wrote his famous play “The Taming of the Shrew” about such a relationship and it was common fare in music halls and is still present in the repertoire of stand up comedians today Since modern relationships are now far diverse it is interesting that this seems to be such a recurring theme “But what courage can withstand the ever during and all besetting terrors of a woman’s tongue?”Rip Van Winkle is an escapist fantasy It has an ineffectual male protagonist who cannot support his farm or family as is expected in the community where he lives He just runs away and sleeps for twenty years In the end he is so old that nobody cares any about his laziness Moreover although he has slept through the defining moment of American history he is not interested This is at odds with American ideology as he takes no part in the country’s founding or history He does not embody the American dream but uite the reverse He has no ambition to better himself and he does not work hard for himself and his family All he wants to do is to chat inconseuentially with his friends In a way this is fitting as an Old World story; one which the Dutch settlers would like to retellWashington Irving writes in a collouial and familiar style using simple and straightforward dialogue It does not seem to be imparting any profound truths This apparent simplicity is uite deceptive because he does seem to suggest than he seems to say We see that great historical events are often less important to an individual than the daily happenings in their life By the very act of passing over a significant event in American history the story draws attention to it On his return Rip Van Winkle finds people talking of the heroes of the late war including one of his friends He hears of the new form of government including in something called “Congress” and discovers that there are new national political parties immediately being challenged to declare whether he is a Federalist or a Democrat Yet Rip Van Winkle does not care either about George III or about George Washington The only oppressor he cares about having overcome is his tyrannical wifeRip Van Winkle achieves universal significance because of its simplicity For all our progress and our increasingly complex society people have a kernel of romantic nostalgia and may yearn for pastoral contentment The price Rip himself paid for this of course was to never achieve full manhood and maturity He lost any opportunity to participate in the great events of his lifetime and slept away much of his adult life George Washington was to become known as “the Father of his country” but Rip Van Winkle has denied himself his own status as a father He has become dependent on his daughter and “overnight” turned into an elderly citizen with far fewer opportunities and no responsibilitiesIt is tempting to wonder whether there was an element of the author himself in Rip Van Winkle The reader is clearly amused by both the husband and the wife who are drawn with a very light touch yet perhaps lassitude is given to Rip Van Winkle We have little sympathy really for Dame Van Winkle and the only viewpoint we see is that of Rip Van Winkle He wins through in the end simply by outlasting his wife After all on his return he is lauded and happy whereas we are left to construe that his wife became increasingly poverty stricken and embitteredIn fact Washington Irving like Rip Van Winkle was away from home for many years He spent seventeen years in England during which he wrote “The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon Gent” Washington Irving was a nostalgic conservative man who enjoyed the old ways He was happiest when he juxtaposed old and new; tradition and change He was encouraged by his friend Sir Walter Scott to explore European folklore and both these famous stories are based on German tales Washington Irving admitted later “When I wrote the story I had never been on the Catskills” But he realised that by adapting the stories maintaining a romantic feel focusing on the individual including local traditions and setting them in the natural environment of the Hudson River Valley he could create a distinctively American fictionAlthough simply written and amusing this fantasy is a salutory tale Rip Van Winkle’s night in the woods is symbolic of escape through fantasy or through one’s imagination which is a form of storytelling In the end Rip Van Winkle is freed from his duties to his family and he becomes the town storyteller He has lost a big part of his life Ironically it is this story which has freed him from his domestic duties — he has both literally and figuratively dreamed them away Dame Van Winkle too has lost what she most desired She did not gain a hardworking husband or an efficient well run farm and suffered an early deathIt is strange that such an entertaining slice of humour can be so bitter when reflected upon Such is the wisdom of Washington Irving Statue of Rip Van Winkle in New York