What American stereotypes do you see in "Rip Van Winkle"?

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Strangely enough, Rip represents a very modern American stereotype.  He is the typical hen-pecked husband.  Americans are accustomed to seeing his type of character on many old and new "family" sit-coms.  The wife is always on his case about something, whether it's work, his behavior, or his socializing.

He also represents the lazy man.  While his character is not representative of all men, Irving certainly must have observed his type enough to characterize Rip as such.  If Rip had his way, he would spend all day at the tavern or out in the "wilderness" away from people telling him what to do.  He simply wants to be left alone.