Sleepy Winkle is confused

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This comment is inconclusion to reading Washington Irvings Rip Van Winkle.

 

"God knows!" exclaimed he at his wit's end; "I'm not myself--- I'm somebody else---that's me yonder-no---that's somebody else, got into my shoes---I was myself last night, but I fell asleep on the mountain, and they've changed my gun, and everything's changed, and I'm changed, and I can't tell what's my name, or who I am!"

 

Not only has Rip changed but everything around him is different. I think he should be glad that time and the insects didn't do to him what they did to his gun.  Rip is sad and confused even when he learns his wife, Dame Van Winkle, has died while he was asleep. The confusion is expected but to be saddened by the death of his wife caught me off guard because she was so overbearing and he couldn't even stay home long enough to take care of his own farm because of her.  In his own way he must have loved his wife and must have enjoyed the aggervation of being married to her.

5 Comments

Is Sleepywinkle a stepchild of the Teletubby family?

This passage certainly captures the personal confusion Rip feels. Yes, Rip must have felt something for her, since he never complained about her.

"she was so overbearing and he couldn't even stay home long enough to take care of his own farm because of her."
I think actually that Dame Van Winkle was always on his back because he wouldn't tend to the farm or the family or provide finincial support, not the other way around. But I agree with your last sentence. He probably did really love his wife, which adds another sad element to the story. It makes me wish he had love in return.

What do you think his reason is for never tending to the farm? After all, every time he goes home, he gets nagged about it.

I agree about Van Winkle's confusion, but not with the part that he changed. I think this is the most effective part of understanding that he doesn't change. The following pages where he is the same, at least mentally, show that Van Winkle is the same as he always was, and it is the new people, surroundings, lack of home, deceased wife, cur of a dog that doesn't recognize him....and to top it off, everything he believed in religiously and politically has changed. Not only his physical objects, but his own core belief have been threatened by the "turning of the tides" so to speak.

P.S. I do understand that his beard is longer and his joints ache, but I mean Rip's anima, his psyche, his faculties were still with him, even if his body experienced changes.

I think for the most part people never want to do what they are suppose to do, and look for any way possible to avoid it.

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This page contains a single entry by MaryJaneStano published on September 5, 2010 4:26 PM.

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