Explore BrainMass

Analyzing "Rip Van Winkle"

Rip Van Winkle
A Posthumous Writing of Diedrich Knickerbocker

I need assistance with the following questions to create a literary analysis.

What sort of man is Rip? What are his strengths? His weaknesses?
What might be the "moral" of this American tall tale? What sort of comments regarding American life and the American work ethic might Irving have been making with this story?

Solution Preview

For the student,
I will have to show you quotes from the story where you can apply to answer these questions on your own. I will share with you how I reacted to the story after I reviewed it since it has been a long time I last read it for a graduate class. Additional explanation to the student: Dieddrich Knickerbocker was a scholarly commentator who wrote a critique on Washington Irving's original story on "Rip Van Winkle". Since TAs are not allowed to write homework directly for any student (even if the person posting an assignment is not a student), I can help you identify and apply quotes to answer these questions on your own. I can also tutor you to start on answering questions as such on your own by helping you with the first one to answer it from my own opinion.

Without further lecturing, please allow me to assist you on this assignment. Before you start applying the quotes I will be directing you to read, please note the following literary theory term that works for the story.

***The Magic of the Imagination***

Irving's story suggests that human imagination can give society charming, humorous stories that become part of an enduring, magical folklore. Today, the Catskill and Hudson Valley regions well remember Rip Van Winkle and Ichabod Crane-the hero of another Irving story, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"-as if they were real persons. A bridge across the Hudson has even been named after Rip. Sunnyside, Irving's Tarrytown home between 1835 and 1859, is a major tourist attraction in the Hudson Valley.

Please make note of the beginning of the story ...

Solution Summary

This posting provides guidance and direction for students analyzing the literary work "Rip Van Winkle" with particular attention to characterization, social commentary, et cetera.