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The Message of Rip Van Winkle

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Rip looked, and beheld a precise counterpart of himself, --[It appears Rip has seen an exact mirror-image of himself--the way others have always perceived him]-- as he went up the mountain--[This was the way he was before his "sleep," or journey up the mountain]--: apparently as lazy, and certainly as ragged--[Before he encountered the party on the mountain, he was a casual, rough and lazy person]--. The poor fellow was now completely confounded--[It appears to everyone that Rip Jr. was confused in his thoughts, however, just as Rip Sr. was, he knew exactly what was going through his head--it appeared he had a plan for everything]--. He doubted his own identity, and whether he was himself or another man--[I believe Rip underwent some type of self realization and was beginning to realize this change--wondering whether he was the same old Rip, or the newer, more aware Rip]--. In the midst of his bewilderment, --[I'm trying to figure out here whether Rip was just very confused with what was going on in seeing his son, or whether he's still drunk and in a "daze."]-- the man in the cocked hat demanded who he was, and what was his name?

            "God knows,--[God is the only person at this time who knows what/who Rip is. Rip doesn't know, his son doesn't know, nobody knows except God himself]--" exclaimed he, at his wit's end; "I'm not myself-I'm somebody else-that's me yonder-no-that's somebody else, got into my shoes--[He sees that he has passed along his traits to his son, and his son has taken over Rip's identity and habits. We "grow" into other's shoes]-- -I was myself last night, but I fell asleep on the mountain, and they've changed my gun, and every thing's changed, and I'...

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...ters closest to his heart and guide his family, what's left of it, and give it some direction to go in. He has slept away the past twenty years of his life, and more than likely-in a sense, slept through many years before he ever climbed the mountain. It is time to wake up and deal with the issues at hand and correct any mistakes or act upon any awakenings he may have had involving his regrets in life.

            If there is one thing Rip Van Winkle has to offer to us I think it is to pay attention to ourselves. As many of us often do, we get to wrapped up in other's affairs and don't deal with our own lives. We tend to strive for perfection in everyone else's life and lack in our own. Rather that sleep away so many years and let time take its toll on us and those we love, we must act now and be a little more selfish in caring for ourselves.


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