Rip Van Winkle

Yaaaay! More Washington Irving! I want to warn you, this will be a rather long post, and am hoping to have a few quotes.  The story Rip Van Winkle is pretty straightforward, but there are a few spots I want to talk about. Before I give the first quote, I wanted to say something about the pen name Washington Irving uses.  Irving claimed that he did not write Rip Van Winkle, Sleepy Hollow etc., but that he found them in the writings of the (apparently) late Diedrich Knickerbocker. Died-Rich Knickerbocker. Died…. Rich…. Sounds like one of his ghost stories.  Anyhow, This made his stories more popular.  So, to jump right in, here is the quote:

“Whoever has made a voyage up the Hudson must remember the Kaatskill Mountains. They are a dismembered branch of great Appalachian family and are seen away to the west of the river swelling up to a noble height and lording it over the surrounding country.  Every change of the season, every change of the weather, indeed, every hour of the day produces some change in the magical hues and shapes of these mountains, and they are regarded by the good wives, far and near, as perfect barometers.  When the weather is fair and settled, they are clothed in blue and purple, and print their bold outlines on the clear evening sky but, sometimes, when the rest of the landscape is cloudless, they will gather a hood of grey vapours about their summits, which, in the last rays of the setting sun, will glow and light up like a crown of glory,”

The quote goes on to describe a quaint little Dutch village.  I want to focus here.  After I had read this, I stopped and saw those mountain with their cyan hues and hood of mist.  And in the midst of all this, I looked down and said, “Oh look! It’s another run-on”.  Other then that, there is a science lesson here.  It is that a barometer (which is used to measure air pressure) can be used to predict the weather.  The color of the sunset changes depending on cloud coverage and air pressure.  That is the ancient

“Rip’s sole domestic adherent was his dog, Wolf …”

This is the first part of the quote, and I stopped here to make a point: His sole domestic adherent was… his dog.  A dog.  Not his wife, not his children, but a dog, a wild animal.  This is a very drastic point made by Irving.  And it’s kinda sad.

“… Who was as much henpecked as his master, for Dame Van Winkle regarded them as companions in idleness, and even looked upon Wolf with an evil eye as the cause of his masters going so often astray.”

After identifying this as yet another run-on, I saw that there is conflict between Rip and Dame.  Rip sees Wolf as an ally, while Dame sees Wolf as an enemy, as a terror.  Rip’s sole domestic adherent, was another’s sole domestic enemy.

That’s the End! Bye!


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