Character Analosis of Rip Van Winkle

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Rip Van Winkle is the main character in Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle,” a comic figure with a unique experience. Through Irving’s use of simple and humorous language, Rip is portrayed as a kind-hearted and amiable man, with a carefree attitude toward life. He is a hen-pecked husband who seeks to escape from his home, and his laughable behaviors add to the comic effect of the story. Overall, Rip is a comic figure rather than a tragic one.”

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Character analosis of Rip Van Winkle Rip Van Winkle, the main character in Washington Irving’s fiction”Rip Van Winkle”, is a comic figure with an amazing experience. The simple and humorous (sometimes exaggerative) words chosen by Irving show: Rip’s nature as simple and kind-hearted; his attitude toward life as carefree; his marriage as hen-pecking and intolerable; and his resultant character as amiable and comic.

Firstly, Irving conveys the simple and kind nature of Rip not only in direct descriptive words like “a kind neighbour”, “meekness of spirit”, but also connotatively in the description of how he played with kids and always ready to help his neighbours, and in the credulity revealed by his unhesitating help offered to the strange old man. He is so simple-minded that even at the sight of those people in strange costumes, he only made the simplest guess that these people are merely amusing themselves.

Irving also implies Rip’s easy-going nature through exaggerative description about how popular he is among his neighbours and even dogs. Secondly, Irving illustrates Rip’s carefree attitude toward life through his aversion to all kinds of profitable labour, and through contrast between his attitude toward businesses of neighbours and that toward his own. These words show Rip as a man who was totally free from anxious of enhancing his material life and who enjoyed a lot merely through benefiting others.

Thirdly, Irving shows Rip as a hen-pecked husbend through words describing his strong willing to escape from his home, into clubs and woods. It is interesting to mention that his easy feeling at the news of his wife’s death, which is somewhat against common sense, successfully revealed his fear of his wife. Though these words show Rip pitiful as a oppressed husband, the description of the laughable behaviours of his termagant wife adds to the comic effect of this fiction. Take into consideration of all those above, it’s easy for readers to get a conclusion that Rip is definitely a comic figure rather than a tragic one.

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Character Analosis of Rip Van Winkle. (2018, Feb 07). Retrieved from

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