So I’ve been taking online courses for my second associate’s degree in medical science. Honestly, I thought I’d be miserable with English literature. It really helps that I had a teacher who is truly passionate about the topics and the stories. If it was not for her passionate live sessions, I don’t know how I would have made it through the class.
So our first forum discussion was….
Romantic heroes, such as Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle, generally are: childlike; innocent; distrustful of women; fond of nature; and in search of a higher truth. Find lines from the story to describe each character trait that Rip demonstrated.
I understand it’s a bit confusing that I only post my responses to others posts as well as my original post but, feel free to ask for more context if confusing. If you’ve not read, ‘Rip Van Winkle’ it’s a short read. You can find it online but, if you are short on time you can listen to it for free through Librivox by clicking here.
My initial post…..
I disagree about Rip being distrustful of women but, he was however lazy. There was a line about how he’d go fishing all day without even a nibble to coax him. Another line that demonstrated his laziness was his wife would nag him as he always had an excuse for why things didn’t get done or went all wrong. Some would even say he was child like by being easily distracted. His neighbors knew he’d do anything they’d ask and the impression from the story was that it was his way of getting out of doing what needed to be done. Like a child, he’d go off hang out with friends and townsfolk. He didn’t really become fond of nature from what I recalled till he ended up on the mountain but, things were different in the 1700’s than they are today. As for finding a higher truth, I think it was somewhat lost on Rip and more intended for the reader. When Rip came back the world had changed without him and he was lost. Hardly any knew of him and if it hadn’t been for the neighbor no one would have known who he was.
Examples: “kept continually dinning in his ears about his idleness, his carelessness, and the ruin he was bringing on his family”.
Responses to others…..
I agree lazy doesn’t mean he was a bad person. To the townsfolk, he didn’t seem lazy because he was so helpful and that’s what made him well liked. It’s just when it came to providing for his family his laziness was apparent. I agree he was a disaster of a human being. I’ve met one too many like him, yet sadly I do see even a bit of my own laziness in him too!
Exactly, It’s kind of sad in some ways. The story takes place over 240 years ago and yet, not all but, many men continue to follow that same route of not taking care of things at home. Wives/Girlfriends nagging about bills and children while husbands/boyfriends find any excuse not to be at home.
I feel as though it only showed a few of his character traits. Although he was helpful to others he was lazy at providing for his family and easily distracted. The saddest part of it all is despite not doing much with his family, his son wanted to be just like him and did. However, it was his daughter who took him in at the end.
I don’t recall the distrust of women, however, I do recall that he would complain to the other women in the town about Dame and they always sided with him. Was that where the distrust of women was?
I totally agree about nature. It was just another excuse to not do what was needed.
“The Romantic hero is a literary archetype referring to a character that rejects established norms and conventions, has been rejected by society and has himself (or herself) as the center of his or her own existence.”
I kind of disagree. He did live and reject the norms but society loved and kind of adored him. He made the children happy and did things for others. It wasn’t till after being on the mountain top and missing 20 years of his life that society rejected him because they didn’t know him. He literally was out of place. After his daughter had taken him in he again became beloved by the new society again.
That is a really good point because he wasn’t rigid and went with the flow, although it took him some time he was able to adjust to the many changes. I mean to be part of Britannia when he fell asleep and now part of a new country when he awoke is too much change for many to handle.
To a degree I can’t blame him, I hate cleaning the house and often find that my husband puts off repairs for years. Or I just end up doing the repairs myself.