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In what ways is Rip van Winkle a classic story of fulfillment?

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diablo | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 31, 2007 at 8:18 AM via web

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In what ways is Rip van Winkle a classic story of fulfillment?

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 1, 2007 at 2:21 AM (Answer #1)

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Hmm. This sounds like a question asked by a teacher; teachers like to force you to define things like "classic" at the same time you define "fulfillment."

In any case, it is a story of fulfillment because Rip gets what he wants, and more than any of us could hope to do. He wants to loaf, and he gets to--he sleeps the years away. However, when he wakes up, he's old enough that he can "do nothing" without penalty. He's skipped all the hard work. What's more, things got better while he slept, not worse as so many of us fear. America had rebelled and was now free--and he didn't have to help!

As far as what makes it classic, I'd say it is the fact that it has appealed to so many people, which is due in turn to the way the author uses a then-modern method of telling the story (the found manuscript) and an ancient, fable-like setting.


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revolution | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted August 27, 2009 at 1:06 AM (Answer #2)

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He is known to be a kind and helpful man in front of his neighbors and is always eager to play with other kids or help out in other housework. But to his wife, he would be known as a lazy and useless man, who doesn't care for his children and his wife and doesn't take care of the house and leaves it unattended

When he was drunk in liquor and falls fast asleep, he was transported 20 years later through time, where the American Revolution had just ended and George Washington was the president of America. He can get and do anything he wants without getting punished or doing any hard work as he had already escaped the tedious process, now he can enjoy life to the fullest without having to work so hard. He was in a world of freedom and he can do anything he wishes, without control.

The purpose for calling this book a "classic" is that it was an immediate success, selling copies after copies to encourage the author to publish even more installments. It was critically acclaimed and there was not one dip of criticism from all the critics at the premise of the book

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