Essay On Dame Van Winkle

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Feminist Criticism What is feminism? Feminism is described as the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Washington Irving writes in an old-fashioned tone, referring to male dominant activities and referring to the women in an almost negative tone. He describes the women to have a nagging tone, allowing for them to seem less superior to men. Irving seems to compare the male and female roles quite a bit throughout his stories, and his viewpoints can be connected to the time period that he is writing about. Rip Van Winkle is a great example of a story with prominent gender roles. Dame Van Winkle is said to be at home doing chores and nagging her husband while he is out in the fields working on the farm. That is how the community is described in this story; the women are inside while the men are taking care of the “dirty work.” Dame Van Winkle is…show more content…
He hardly talks about women at all. He starts out by saying, “He had a wife as miserly as himself; they were so miserly that they even conspired to cheat each other. Whatever the woman could lay hands on she hid away: a hen could not cackle but she was on the alert to secure the new--laid egg.” This starts out on a sarcastic tone, implying she was not worthy of her husband. Irving goes on to say, “ Tom’s wife was a tall termagant, fierce of temper, loud of tongue, and strong of arm. Her voice was often heard in wordy warfare with her husband; and his face sometimes showed signs that their conflicts were not confined to words.” This shows us that women were thought of in a negative tone, and expected to be soft, quiet, and gentle. Irving almost disregards the fact that Tom’s wife is, in fact, a woman and gives her manly qualities such as being tall, having a loud temper, having a loud tongue and a strong arm; all characteristics that are typically associated with
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