How does the setting contribute to the story's meaning and effect?

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Washington Irving sets the story in Revolutionary America – the portraits in the inn are the biggest clue to this.  The portrait of King George is replaced with a portrait of George Washington.  So the theme of “petticoat government” applies not only to the henpecking of Dame Van Winkle but also to the “henpecking” of the British government in the Colonies.  For the...

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