In the world today many people are fooled by fake news and biased opinions. It is typical for a writer to input their opinion into writing in a way that is inconspicuous. This way they can affect the readers’ opinions on the topic. In “Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving and “Revolt of Mother” by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, the author write about their opinions on marriages and gender roles without saying it.
Throughout “Rip Van Winkle,” Rip dreams of a life without the responsibility and expectation that he will take care of his yard and house. “If left to himself, he would have whistled life away in perfect contentment.” He is unable to do this because, “his wife kept continually dinning in his ears about his idleness.” Dame, his wife, is the villain and has an “evil eye” towards him and his dog. She bothers him all day long about doing work, and he says nothing back; instead, he just shrugs his shoulders. It is extremely frustrating for Rip because he knows he is a good person, and he thinks that Dame should agree.
Also, the author makes a point to show that Rip does help other people with their houses, he just does not have the time to work on his. In a way, he is being selfless. Dame, for some reason, always saw the worst in him. One day, Rip goes into the Catskill Mountains to escape Dame and is prosperous in his attempt. Rip is fortunate, and falls asleep for twenty years at the foot of a tree, and by the time he wakes up Dame “had died but a short time since.”
This is such a relief because Rip can now live in peace. “Revolt of Mother” is a story of a woman standing up to her husband for always doing things for himself. His main focuses in life are gaining more animals and building comfortable places for the animals to live. This becomes bothersome for mother because she is the one who is in the house all day. On the other hand, Father spends a lot of time out of the house, and does not care much about keeping the house clean. Mother sees this as him being selfish because he cares more about his wants than his family’s needs.
When mother sees men working in the field, she asks Father, “‘What are them men diggin’ over there in the field for?’” Father’s response is the last thing mother wanted to hear, “‘A barn.’” This sets mother off. Sometime later, she calls father into the house and vocalizes her feelings. “‘I’m goin’ to talk real plain to you.’” She goes on to show him examples throughout the house where it needs fixing.
One example is her room, “‘There father,’ said she – ‘there’s all the room I’ve had to sleep in forty year.’” Father has little words to say in response to this argument. His only words are, “‘I ain’t got nothin’ to say.’” After giving this conversation all she has, Father gives her nothing back. The author shows the reader how the woman is right by finishing the story with the father crying in reaction to disappointing the family.
“Revolt of Mother” and “Rip Van Winkle” can be seen as parallel stories from two different points of view. Looking back on “Rip Van Winkle,” maybe Dame is not a villain. Perhaps, she just wants to see that Rip cares enough about her that he will give her a nice place to live. Marriage is supposed to be a partnership, and Rip runs away from that. Also, maybe father in “Revolt of Mother” does not want all the responsibility of building a new house.
Because he is the man of the marriage, there is immediately the pressure that he has to make a pleasant place to live. These opposing points of view are hidden while reading “Rip Van Winkle’ and “Revolt of Mother” separately. This happens because Irving and Freeman are biased towards different sides of the argument through their writing; however, when you read them together, it makes it clear that both the women and the men in the marriage have reasons to be upset. If both authors switch the point of view of their stories to the other partner in the marriage, the stories will be different, and the protagonist and antagonist will change.
Biased opinions are common in the world today and they are portrayed through the television, social media, and pieces of writing. People allow this to trick them, and it causes them to make opinions without looking deeper. As shown through both of these stories, there are two sides to every story. People must look at both sides before forming any opinions.