Characteristics Of Romanticism In Rip Van Winkle

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1. Introduction This research paper deals with Washington Irving's most famous short story Rip Van Winkle, which tells the story of a man, who falls into a magical sleep during the English colonial time and wakes up twenty years later as a citizen of the United States of America. It will be looked into the characteristics that make Rip Van Winkle a Romantic piece of literature and how Washington Irving's intentions are reflected in his writing. 
Hereby Washington Irving’s life itself will be taken into consideration together with the Romantic period to demonstrate how these two domains are combined in Rip Van Winkle. 2. Washington Irving: A short insight into his life Irving was born in New York City on April 3 1783. He studied the English literature already in the early stages of his life, publishing his first satirical essay 1802. "Irving regularly addressed darker and more complex themes of historical transformation and personal dislocation. His innovative travel…show more content…
Setting out to reclaim his Americanness, Irving proclaimed his love for his country […].“ (Norton Anthology 468) 3. Characteristics of Romantic Literature Romanticism in America can be determined by the time after the War of 1802 (1802-1805) and through the Civil War (1861-1865).
By defeating Britain, a vast feeling of nationalism was formed throughout the population of America and thus motivated many writers to express their emotions of American nationalism, creating literature that tried to distinct itself from European traditions, instead shaped by “[…] radical individualism and a total commitment to social reform, religious freethinking and the most conventional pieties, artistic experiment and self-conscious imitation.“ (Habich 3) It was a time of “increased readership, availability of print materials and, very important, evolution of critical opinion.“ (Habich 6) 4.1 Historical
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