Misogyny In Rip Van Winkle And The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow

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Misogyny is the dislike of, contempt for, or prejudice of women; Washington Irving has been accused of misogyny because of the treatment of women in his stories and their content. Washington Irving was a writer during the 1800’s, and some of his most popular works include “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Within these tales and other works of Irving’s, aspects of misogyny is discernible, though there is debate about whether the author himself was a misogynist. I believe that the misogyny that is shown throughout a select few of Irving’s works is due in part to the time period, not entirely Irving, himself. During the 1800’s, women were not seen as equals or even close to being considered equal to men. Women were expected to stay at home and take of the house and the children. With almost no rights available to them, women were solely dependent on men. Consequently, these things…show more content…
The other stories belittle marriage and women slightly, while “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is all about a man’s conquest of the women he wants to marry. Without any criticizing or contempt, Irving tells of a school teacher who is tenacious about marrying a student of his. Throughout the entire story, misogyny is not present, which makes me hesitant about calling Irving a misogynist. If he really held those views, why exclude them from one story? Washington Irving’s stories make it seem indisputable that he was a misogynist. Nevertheless, I feel that when you take into consideration his time period in which he lived, you cannot say that idea was just one he held alone. With women expected to take on a background role in society and conflicts between spouses, it makes sense that the stories would take on these concepts as well. While I believe that while Washington Irving may have held slight misogynistic views, or views against marriage, I do not believe that he was solely to
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