What are the Romantic elements in "Rip Van Winkle?"

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It is important to define what some of the elements of romanticism are so that we can properly analyze this work. Romanticism was fascinated with the beauty and mystery of nature while also exhibiting a strong sense of nostalgia and an attitude of clinging to the past. Additionally, the supernatural comes into play fairly often in romantic literature.

The supernatural element of this story is clearly the most obvious, as Van Winkle falls into a dreamless sleep for decades after partying with seemingly ageless men in the mountains near his town. He awakes, having not aged but having been forgotten by those around him.

The story also includes a fair amount of awe at the beauty of nature. There is a great amount of information provided about the mountains surrounding Van Winkle's town—the Catskill Mountains. They are described in overly majestic terms, showing a respect and admiration of the natural beauty of the region.

Finally, the most thematic element of the story is the nostalgia and...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1314 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on November 14, 2019
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