Dame Van Winkle seems to represent the Protestant work ethic popular among the Puritans rather than the Romantic notions of her husband. The Puritan work ethic demands hard work which Dame Van Winkle seems to want from her husband However, Rip had "an insuperable aversion to all kinds of profitable labor". He complained that he had the worst piece of property in the area because "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." However, "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. . ." Thus, the two of them never got along. All Rip would do was shrug " his shoulders, shook his head, cast up his eyes, but said nothing."