Analysis Of Washington Irving: American Story Teller

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Washington Irving, American Story Teller I believe it is true that “Washington Irving found in legend and folklore a view of the natural world colored by emotion, by superstition, and by the ancient belief that supernatural beings inhabit the wild places of the earth. He wrote stories that illustrated old truths about human nature and the dramatic possibilities of the American landscape.” Although Irving wrote over twenty volumes, including essays, poems, histories, biographies, and more, in class, we have focused on his fiction. Irving dispersed many beliefs and legends of his time, and the past, into his stories. He also made great use of American themes in these literary pursuits. Such details along with existent people and events…show more content…
(1819), in New York, Philadelphia, and London, enabled him to become an international figure. The book contained a variety of witty sketches and fictitious accounts, narrated by an illusory, Geoffrey Crayon. This collection included two of the most recognized (and earliest) American short stories, “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” which I will be addressing here. Both fictions up for review kindly mock the irrational beliefs of common people, but I will focus on “Rip Van Winkle,” first. For this tale, Irving utilizes the backdrop of the Catskill Mountains. Near the start of this story, he sews the seeds of rural beliefs and opens a door to the supernatural by mentioning that the good wives regard their “magical hues and shapes” (Irving 492), as barometers and goes on to call them “these fairy mountains” (492). The story begins before The Revolution, in an antiquated village that was founded by some Dutch colonists. Irving explained that America was still a province of Great Britain at this time. The protagonist of this yarn is the affable, title character Rip Van Winkle. He is a simple and decent, yet meek man by virtue of his neighborly kindness and unyielding submission to his markedly nagging wife. Both Rip and Dame Van Winkle, convey characteristics that lend to the idea of Washington Irving illustrating “old truths about human…show more content…
Always friendly and willing to help others, he spends quality time with the village children and is an avid outdoorsman. Having given up the idea of being a worthy farmer or monetary provider, Rip often fled his wife’s harassing by joining idle friends in the village to discuss current gossip and stories. When his badgering wife would break up, these get-togethers, Rip’s only escape was hunting in the woods. On one such occasion, Irving’s tale of this normal everyman turns
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