Rip Van Winkle Essays

Rip Van Winkle Essays-22
Rip had but one way of replying to all lectures of the kind, and that, by frequent use, had grown into a habit.He shrugged his shoulders, shook his head, cast up his eyes, but said nothing.

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Rip Van Winkle misses out on his youth and the making of history but even this he manages to turn into an advantage.

In the first place, he misses out on twenty years of nagging!

In fact, he declared it was of no use to work on his farm; it was the most pestilent little piece of ground in the whole country; everything about it went wrong, and would go wrong in spite of him.

His fences were continually falling to pieces; his cow would either go astray, or get among the cabbages; weeds were sure to grow quicker in his fields than anywhere else; the rain always made a point of setting in just as he had some out-of-door work to do; so that though his patrimonial estate had dwindled away under his management, acre by acre, until there was little more left than a mere patch of Indian corn and potatoes, yet it was the worst-conditioned farm in the neighbourhood.

His children, too, were as ragged and wild as if they belonged to nobody.

His son Rip, an urchin begotten in his own likeness, promised to inherit the habits, with the old clothes of his father.He was generally seen trooping like a colt at his mother’s heels, equipped in a pair of his father’s cast-off galligaskins, which he had much ado to hold up with one hand, as a fine lady does her train in bad weather.Rip Van Winkle, however, was one of those happy mortals, of foolish, well-oiled dispositions, who take the world easy, eat white bread or brown, whichever can be got with east thought or trouble, and would rather starve on a penny than work for a pound.Here they used to sit in the shade, of a long lazy summer’s day, talking listlessly over village gossip, or telling endless sleepy stories about nothing.But it would have been worth any statesman’s money to have heard the profound discussions that sometimes took place, when by chance an old newspaper fell into their hands, from some passing traveller.He would never refuse to assist a neighbour, even in the roughest toil, and was foremost a man at all country frolics for husking Indian corn or building stone fences.The women of the village, too, used to employ him to run their errands, and to do such little odd jobs as their less obliging husbands would not do for them – in a word, Rip was ready to attend to anybody’s business but his own; but as to doing family duty, and keeping his farm in order, he found it impossible.Escaping into the woods one day, Rip Van Winkle encounters gnomes, and drinks a magic drink which makes him sleep for twenty years.While he is asleep his fellow compatriots fight a war and establish a new nation.It could not be from the want of assiduity or perseverance; for he would sit on a wet rock, with a rod as long and heavy as a Tartar’s lance, and fish all day without a murmur, even though he should not be encouraged by a single nibble.He would carry a fowling-piece on his shoulder for hours together, trudging through woods and swamps, and up hill and down dale, to shoot a few squirrels or wild pigeons.


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