Washington Irving Synthesis Essay

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Romanticism Synthesis Essay

Washington Irving was a brilliant writer who was able to describe Romanticism aspects in his stories such as greed, the supernatural and personal freedom. These included the works of “The devil and Tom Walker” and “Rip Van Winkle”. The first story including a tale about a man who trades his soul to the devil so that he can become rich and successful. This shows great greed without the thought of consequence. The second tale is about an old man who was put to sleep for 20 years, after his years of slumber he wakes to the town he once knew completely changed and the man's friends gone. This shows the supernatural element of romanticism in this story.

Washington Irving often focused on the romanticism aspects
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Rip Van Winkle was known as a man who cared for his neighbors and minded his own business. Living with his stubborn annoying wife he was often told to leave his house due to arguments with her He often like to sit and ponder his thoughts with his other peers. This can be described in this quote,“when driven from home, by frequenting a kind of perpetual club of the sages, philosophers, and other idle personages of the village; which held its sessions on a bench before a small inn, (Irving 12) When Rip Van Winkle went hunting one day he entered the woods and stumbled across the devil. The devil put him to sleep for 20 years! The next quote explains the surprise he felt when he woke up from the 20 year slumber. “everything was strange. His mind now misgave him; he began to doubt whether both he and the world around him were not bewitched.” (Irving 18) This quote explains the surprise he felt once he awoke.

Irving's writing styles were often symbolized using romanticism as a way of him telling stories. This includes the greed and no thought of consequence in “The devil and Tom Walker”. In the short story “Rip Van Winkle”, it shows romanticism by progress and a sense of individual freedom. Both stories are great examples of romanticism in
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