Does Irving's portrayal of Dame Van Winkle in "Rip Van Winkle" make him seem anti-feminist?
There are two relevant questions related to answering whether Irving's portrayal of Dame Van Winkle is anti-feminist or not. The first is whether you approach the question as a revisionist critic--taking Irving and the Dame out of context of their time--or as a traditional literary critic, sans revisionism. The second question is whether you wish to examine the Dame and Irving as representing a social viewpoint or as representing a literary viewpoint.
Revisionism in literature refers to the idea of reading and criticizing literature from a perspective of current social and cultural principles and ideologies: "the reinterpretation of orthodox views" of literary criticism. Revisionists aim to redirect consideration of literary canon through new avenues of thought, sometimes leading to restructuring of traditional ideas literature. For example, Gerard Carruthers (University of Glasgow) expresses the state of revisionism in Scottish and Irish literature by saying:
...[revisionist critics may...
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