Jonathan Tang's essay

537 Words3 Pages
There are no certainties in an ever-changing world. The new endlessly replaces the old. With death, memories are replaced and gradually disappear with time. Washington Irving’s story, “Rip Van Winkle”, investigates the replacement of previous generations. The changes after Rip’s long slumber represent the insignificance of individuals, for they are forgotten with time, thus proving a Romantic fear of change. The townspeople abandoning their old lifestyle during Industrialization symbolizes a similar fate between Rip and his friends. Romantics believe each person has a unique story worth remembering. With increasing abandonment of old living conditions, Rip fears a similar outcome for his supposedly worthwhile life. When Nicholas Veddor dies, he is remembered only by “a wooden tombstone in the churchyard… but [even] that’s rotten and gone” (165). The decayed, wooden tombstone represents its replacement with iron and steel during the Industrialization and symbolizes Veddor’s ending legacy. Thus, because the story on the tomb that “used to tell about him” concurrently disappears with ...

More about Jonathan Tang's essay

Open Document