Expert Answer :Forum Post about Rip Van Winkle and James Fenimore

  

Solved by verified expert:INSTRUCTIONS: To post, click on the Topic title to access the topic, and then click the “Post New Thread” button. Each part of this forum post should be approximately 300 words in length. Both Part 1 and Part 2 should be posted in the same response.Part 1: We see in “Rip Van Winkle” themes of generational change, continuity, preservation, and tradition. Written nearly half a century after the American Revolution, in “Rip Van Winkle” Irving is making a statement about the Revolution. What is it Washington Irving is trying to convey to the reader through his story? Do any of the surrounding characters have roles or represent themes related to the Revolution? If so, what might those be?Part 2: James Fenimore Cooper challenges the reader to consider who really owns the land and its natural resources. What evidence is in there of natural law versus human law? What can we say about individual freedoms versus the ideal of equal opportunities protected by the institutions of a justly ordered society? Express these juxtapositions using lines from the reading as support. And then please add your opinion of ownership and conservation, law, and freedoms. We must also respond at least 150 to 4 different peers. I have attached a pdf with the passages with the two people in them.
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193
Week Eight: Reason and
Revolution Part III / The
Romantic, the Real and the
American Indian
194
Perkins−Perkins:
LITR220
Selections from American
Literature
Washington Irving
Author Bio
© The McGraw−Hill
Companies, 2003
Washington Irving
R
(1783–1859)
With Cooper, Poe, and Hawthorne, Irving has survived all other American writers of fiction before
Melville, and he still finds new readers with every passing generation. He was the first great prose
stylist of American romanticism, and his familiar style was destined to outlive the formal prose of
such contemporaries as Scott and Cooper, and to provide a model for the prevailing prose narrative of the future.
The apparent ease of his writing is not simply that of the gifted amateur; it results from his
purposeful identification of his whole personality with what he wrote. He was urbane and worldly,
yet humorous and gentle; a robust connoisseur, yet innately reserved; a patrician, yet sympathetic
toward the people. His vast reading, following only the impulse of his own enthusiasms, resulted in
a rich if random literary inheritance, revealed in all that he wrote. His response to the period of
Addison, Swift, and Johnson, with its great and graceful style, and his enthusiasm for the current
European romanticism, enabled him to combine these with his independent literary personality
and American roots.
It is instructive to consider the number of his literary innovations. He was our first great
belletrist, writing always for pleasure, and to produce pleasure; yet readers of all classes responded
to him in a country in which the didactic and utilitarian had formerly prevailed. He gave an impetus
both to the extravagant American humor of which Mark Twain became the classic, and to the
urbane wit that has survived in writers ranging from Holmes and Lowell to the New Yorker wits of
the past and present. In his Sketch Book appeared the first modern short stories and the first great
American juvenile literature. He was among the first of the moderns to write good history and
biography as literary entertainment. He introduced the familiar essay to America. On his own
whimsical terms, Irving restored the waning Gothic romances which Poe soon infused with
psychological subtleties. The scope of his life and his writing was international, and produced a
certain breadth of view in his readers; yet his best-known stories awakened an interest in the life of
American regions from the Hudson valley to the prairies of the West. His influence abroad, as writer,
as visitor, and as diplomat, was that of a gifted cultural ambassador, at home on both continents,
at a time when his young country badly needed such representation. He was the only American
writer of his generation who could chide the British in an atmosphere of good humor.
The events of Irving’s life are characterized by the same casual approach and distinguished
results. Gently born and well educated, the youngest of eleven children of a prosperous New York
merchant, he began a genteel reading for the law at sixteen, but preferred a literary Bohemianism.
At nineteen he published, in his brother’s newspaper, his “Jonathan Oldstyle” satires of New York
life. By the age of twenty-three, when he was admitted to the New York bar, he had roamed the
Hudson valley and been a literary vagabond in England, Holland, France, and Italy, reading and
The standard edition of Irving’s work has been The Works of Washington Irving, Author’s Uniform Revised Edition, 21 vols., 1860–1861, reissued in
12 vols., 1881. The Complete Works of Washington Irving, ed. Henry A. Pochmann and others, was published in 30 volumes, 1969–1989. The
Journals of Washington Irving, 3 vols., 1919, were edited by W. P. Trent and G. S. Hellman, and a number of volumes of the letters have been
published. Several later editions, individual volumes, are easily available; note especially Knickerbocker’s History of New York, edited by Stanley T.
Williams and Tremaine McDowell, 1927; and Edwin T. Bowden, ed., A History of New York, 1964. Washington Irving: Representative Selections,
edited by Henry A. Pochmann, American Writers Series, 1934, has a useful introduction and bibliography.
Pierre M. Irving published the first standard Life and Letters, 4 vols., 1862–1864; other good lives are those by Charles Dudley Warner, 1890, and
G. S. Hellman, 1925. However, the definitive biographical and critical study is that by Stanley T. Williams: The Life of Washington Irving, 2 vols., 1935.
See also Edward Wagenknecht, Washington Irving: Moderation Displayed, 1962; William L. Hedges, Washington Irving, an American Study, 1965;
Haskell Springer, Washington Irving: A Reference Guide, 1976; Andrew B. Myers, A Century of Commentary on the Works of Washington Irving, 1976;
Martin Roth, Comedy and America: The Lost World of Washington Irving, 1976; Mary W. Bowden, Washington Irving, 1981; and Jeffrey Rubin-Dorsky,
Adrift in the Old World: The Psychological Pilgrimage of Washington Irving, 1988.
Perkins−Perkins:
Selections from American
Literature
Washington Irving
Author Bio
© The McGraw−Hill
Companies, 2003
Washington Irving: Author Bio
studying what pleased him, which was a great deal, and reveling in the lively world of the theater.
Back in New York, he joined with his brother, William, and James Kirke Paulding, in 1807, in
producing the Salmagundi papers, Addisonian commentaries on New York society and frivolities.
A History of New York, by Diedrich Knickerbocker (1809), a rollicking burlesque of a current serious
history of the early Dutch settlers, has become a classic of humor, and might have launched an
immediate career for its author.
A personal tragedy, however, changed his course for a time; the death of his
fiancée, Matilda Hoffman, coincided with the demands of the family cutlery firm, and in 1810 he
went to Washington as representative of the business. In 1815 he again turned restlessly to his
European roving, with headquarters in England during the next seventeen years, but his literary
career was soon to catch up with him again. In 1818 the failure of the Irving firm, which had
bountifully supported his leisure, threw family responsibilities upon him, and he loyally plunged
into the authorship for which he had almost unconsciously prepared himself. The Sketch Book
appeared serially in 1819–1820; in volume form shortly thereafter, it at once had an international
success. Bracebridge Hall followed in 1822; then he first went to Germany in pursuit of an interest
in German romanticism, which flavored the Tales of a Traveller (1824) and other later writings.
Meanwhile in Paris he had met John Howard Payne, the American dramatist and actor, with whom
he wrote the brilliant social comedy Charles the Second, or The Merry Monarch.
From 1826 to 1829 he was in Spain on diplomatic business, residing for a time in the Alhambra.
His reading at that period, including the study of Spanish historical sources, resulted in a number
of important works: A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1828), A Chronicle of
the Conquest of Granada (1829), Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus (1831), a
famous volume of stories and sketches––The Alhambra (1832)––and “Legends of the Conquest of
Spain” (in The Crayon Miscellany, 1835).
Before The Alhambra appeared, he was on his way back to the United States after two years
as secretary of the American legation in London (1829–1831). American reviewers had commented,
often with irritation, on his seeming preference for Europe, but the charges were exaggerated. After
seventeen years abroad he returned with the desire to portray his own country again, and although
such western adventures as A Tour on the Prairies (1835), Astoria (history of Astor’s fur trade, 1836),
and The Adventures of Captain Bonneville (explorations in the Rocky Mountains, 1837) are not
among his best work, they broke new trails in our literature. In 1836 he made his home at Sunnyside,
near Tarrytown, so lovingly described years before as “Sleepy Hollow.” He had already declined a
nomination to Congress; now he declined to run for mayor of New York, or to become Van Buren’s
secretary of the navy. Instead he wrote a good Life of Oliver Goldsmith (1840), and began the Life
of George Washington (published 1855–1859), long a standard work. From 1842 to 1845 he served
as minister to Spain, then settled at Sunnyside, which he remodeled and enlarged, while preparing
the revised edition of his works, and completing his Washington. The fifth and last volume of the
latter appeared just before his death in 1859.
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Perkins−Perkins:
LITR220
Selections from American
Literature
Washington Irving
Rip Van Winkle
© The McGraw−Hill
Companies, 2007
WASHINGTON IRVING
Rip Van Winkle1
A POSTHUMOUS WRITING OF DIEDRICH KNICKERBOCKER
By Woden,2 God of Saxons,
From whence comes Wensday, that is Wodensday.
Truth is a thing that ever I will keep
Unto thylke day in which I creep into
My sepulchre—
—CARTWRIGHT 3
[The following Tale was found among the papers of the late Diedrich Knickerbocker, an old gentleman of New York, who was very curious in the Dutch history of the province, and the manners of the descendants from its primitive
settlers. His historical researches, however, did not lie so much among books
as among men; for the former are lamentably scanty on his favorite topics; whereas
he found the old burghers, and still more their wives, rich in that
legendary lore, so invaluable to true history. Whenever, therefore, he happened
upon a genuine Dutch family, snugly shut up in its low-roofed farmhouse, under a
spreading sycamore, he looked upon it as a little clasped volume of black-letter,
and studied it with the zeal of a bookworm.4
The result of all these researches was a history of the province during the reign
of the Dutch governors, which he published some years since. There have been
various opinions as to the literary character of his work, and, to tell the truth, it is
not a whit better than it should be. Its chief merit is its scrupulous accuracy, which
indeed was a little questioned on its first appearance, but has since been completely
established; and it is now admitted into all historical collections, as a book of unquestionable authority.
The old gentleman died shortly after the publication of his work, and now that
he is dead and gone, it cannot do much harm to his memory to say that his time
1. This famous tale (ending the first installment of The Sketch Book) has been regarded as the first
American short story. Within ten years (1829) it began in Philadelphia its long stage career. This involved adaptations and inheritance by many authors and actors, until it was stabilized in
the version acted by the third Joseph Jefferson (1829–1905).
2. Sometimes Wodan or Odin; in Norse and Teutonic mythology, the god of war and wisdom—also
“the Thunderer.”
3. William Cartwright (1611–1643), short-lived prodigy of the “Tribe of Ben,” of whom Jonson said,
“My son Cartwright writes all like a man.”
4. Thus, in The Sketch Book, Irving continued to use the fictitious Dutch historian, Knickerbocker,
from his earlier History of New York. But in a footnote at the end of “Rip Van Winkle” he gave a clue
to the German source of the folk tale by denying that Knickerbocker had based it on a “superstition
about the Emperor Frederick der Rothbart.” This led to the identification of a probable source, “Peter
Klaus the Goatherd,” in a collection of German legends that Irving had read (see H. A. Pochmann, “Irving’s German Sources in The Sketch Book,” Studies in Philology, XXVII, July 1930, 477–507).
Perkins−Perkins:
Selections from American
Literature
Washington Irving
Rip Van Winkle
© The McGraw−Hill
Companies, 2007
Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle
might have been much better employed in weightier labors. He, however, was apt
to ride his hobby his own way; and though it did now and then kick up the dust a
little in the eyes of his neighbors, and grieve the spirit of some friends, for whom he
felt the truest deference and affection; yet his errors and follies are remembered
“more in sorrow than in anger,”5 and it begins to be suspected, that he never intended to injure or offend. But however his memory may be appreciated by critics,
it is still held dear by many folk, whose good opinion is well worth having; particularly by certain biscuit-bakers, who have gone so far as to imprint his likeness on
their new-year cakes; and have thus given him a chance for immortality, almost
equal to the being stamped on a Waterloo Medal,6 or a Queen Anne’s Farthing.7]
Whoever has made a voyage up the Hudson must remember the Kaatskill
mountains. They are a dismembered branch of the great Appalachian family, and
are seen away to the west of the river, swelling up to a noble height, and lording it
over the surrounding country. Every change of season, every change of weather,
indeed, every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical hues and
shapes of these mountains, and they are regarded by all the good wives, far and
near, as perfect barometers. When the weather is fair and settled, they are clothed
in blue and purple, and print their bold outlines on the clear evening sky; but,
sometimes, when the rest of the landscape is cloudless, they will gather a hood of
gray vapors about their summits, which, in the last rays of the setting sun, will
glow and light up like a crown of glory.
At the foot of these fairy mountains, the voyager may have descried the light
smoke curling up from a village, whose shingle-roofs gleam among the trees, just
where the blue tints of the upland melt away into the fresh green of the nearer
landscape. It is a little village, of great antiquity, having been founded by some of
the Dutch colonists, in the early times of the province, just about the beginning of
the government of the good Peter Stuyvesant, (may he rest in peace!) and there
were some of the houses of the original settlers standing within a few years, built
of small yellow bricks brought from Holland, having latticed windows and gable
fronts, surmounted with weathercocks.
In that same village, and in one of these very houses (which, to tell the precise
truth, was sadly time-worn and weather-beaten), there lived many years since, while
the country was yet a province of Great Britain, a simple good-natured fellow, of
the name of Rip Van Winkle. He was a descendant of the Van Winkles who figured
so gallantly in the chivalrous days of Peter Stuyvesant, and accompanied him to the
siege of Fort Christina.8 He inherited, however, but little of the martial character of
his ancestors. I have observed that he was a simple good-natured man; he was,
moreover, a kind neighbor, and an obedient hen-pecked husband. Indeed, to the
5. Shakespeare’s Hamlet, I, ii, 231–232.
6. A silver medal presented by the British crown to all participants in the Battle of Waterloo (June 18,
1815) or in the engagements of the two previous days.
7. In the reign of Queen Anne (1702–1714) farthings (bronze coins worth a quarter of a penny) bearing
her image were minted.
8. Referring to events treated in his History of New York. Stuyvesant was the autocratic governor of
New Amsterdam (1647–1664); he seized Fort Christina on the Delaware from the Swedes in 1655.
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Perkins−Perkins:
LITR220
Selections from American
Literature
Washington Irving
Rip Van Winkle
© The McGraw−Hill
Companies, 2007
latter circumstance might be owing that meekness of spirit which gained him such
universal popularity; for those men are most apt to be obsequious and conciliating
abroad, who are under the discipline of shrews at home. Their tempers, doubtless,
are rendered pliant and malleable in the fiery furnace of domestic tribulation; and a
curtain lecture is worth all the sermons in the world for teaching the virtues of patience and long-suffering. A termagant wife may, therefore, in some respects, be
considered a tolerable blessing; and if so, Rip Van Winkle was thrice blessed.
Certain it is, that he was a great favorite among all the good wives of the village, who, as usual, with the amiable sex, took his part in all family squabbles;
and never failed, whenever they talked those matters over in their evening gossipings, to lay all the blame on Dame Van Winkle. The children of the village, too,
would shout with joy whenever he approached. He assisted at their sports, made
their playthings, taught them to fly kites and shoot marbles, and told them long
stories of ghosts, witches, and Indians. Whenever he went dodging about the village, he was surrounded by a troop of them, hanging on his skirts, clambering on
his back, and playing a thousand tricks on him with impunity; and not a dog
would bark at him throughout the neighborhood.
The great error in Rip’s composition was an insuperable aversion to all kinds of
profitable labor. 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. He would never refuse to assist a neighbor even in the roughest toil,
and was a foremost 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 old 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.
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; every thing 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 outdoor 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 neighborhood.
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,9 which he had
much ado to hold up with one hand, as a fine lady does her train in bad weather.
9. Knee breeches.
Perkins−Perkins:
Selections from American
Literature
Washington Irving
Rip Van Winkle
© The McGraw−Hill
Companies, 2007
Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle
Rip Van Winkle, however, was one of those happy mortals, of foolish, welloiled dispositions, who take the world easy, eat white bread or brown, whichever
can be got with least thought or trouble, and would rather starve on a penny than
work for a pound. If left to himself, he would have whistled life away in perfect
contentment; but his wife kept continually dinning in his ears about his idleness,
his carelessness, and the ruin he was bringing on his family. Morning, noon, and
night, her tongue was incessantly going, and every thing he said or did was sure to
produce a torrent of household eloquence. Rip had but one way of replying to all
lectures of the kind, and that, by frequent use, had grown into a habit. He
shru …
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