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as he 8220 Rip Van Winkle and Romanticism  Rip Van Winkle Essays


Rip Van Winkle and Romanticism

 

In the world of literature, there are many types of writing that an author can take to express his ideas. Their topics can be explained through life experiences, biographies, poetry, or other forms of literature. One of the forms that authors use is Romanticism. There are many qualities that define the different viewpoints of Romanticism.  Rip Van Winkle, “Thanatopsis,” and “The Cross of Snow” are all examples of writing from the period of Romanticism.   

 

        Rip Van Winkle is a story written by Washington Irving.  This was a story mainly about a lazy man who did not want to do any type of work, at home or at work. He was said to be useless on his farm, his land and property falling to pieces.  Irving says, “The great error in Rip’s composition was an insuperable aversion to all kinds of profitable labor”(p. 156 1st paragraph), which was just one of Irving’s many uses of inflated language.  Madame Van Winkle would always nag on Rip constantly, to do work around the house and possibly even help to raise their children.   

 

Perhaps the nagging of his wife and his dread of labor is what Rip escaped from when he spent a good amount of his time at the village’s small inn in town.  “Here they used to sit in the shade, through a long lazy summer’s day, talking listlessly over village gossip, or telling endless sleepy stories about nothing.” (p.157) Even in the security of his peers, his wife would track Rip down, and scold all the men for being among each other, instead of being at home with their families.  These surprise visits are what led to Rip’s escape into the Kaatskill Mountains.

 

After wandering with his gun and his close companion Wolf, Rip tracks himself into the upper parts of the Mountains.  Soon after, Rip comes across a stranger who was carrying what looked like a keg of liquor.  So with the help of the Hollands, which is Dutch Gin, and a whole day of hiking, Rip fell into a deep, solemn slumber.  But when he woke up, he did not know how long he had slept or where both of his companions had gone off too.  He rises from his spot, and with his aged gun, he heads back to town, trying to find an excuse for his angry wife as for why he had been gone for so long.  He was going to find out just exactly how long he had been gone for.   

 

As he gets closer to his house, he feels his head starting to pound and throb. “ ‘That flagon last night,’ thought he, “has addled my poor head sadly!” (p.160) This shows he has definitely started to feel the effects of the alcohol from the night before. When he arrived, Rip’s heart started to break. His house was decaying, his favorite dog growled and snarled at his simple existence and his wife and children were nowhere to be found.  He went on to travel further on into town. Then Rip begins to notice things are not as he had left them the day before.  People of the town started to notice Rip’s grotesque appearance, with his long beard, his ancient gun, and unfashionable clothes.  They started to walk in a large crowd around him, curious to see whom this unknown creature was.   

 

After a few minutes, a woman makes her way to the front of the crowd. Rip discovers that this woman he is speaking with is his little girl who he had left so long ago. Rip could not believe his eyes. His beautiful little girl, who was once the subject of the accusation of Rip being a bad parent, had now grown to be a mother.  “His children too were as ragged and wild as if they belonged to nobody.” (P.156 2nd column) So Rip goes on to live with his daughter and her family. A lot of time has gone by since Rip had last known it to be, so now it would be Rip that would have to change to ... more

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“This week we offered a plan to end welfare as we know it—a plan that will encourage personality and help strengthen our families through tougher child support, more education and training, and an absolute requirement to go to work after a period of time.” -Bill Clinton, radio address, 6/18/94

The welfare system is in deep distress. From the time of Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the current reigning of Bill Clinton, many a bills have been brought for to reform it. Originally, Roosevelt established the system as a type of government stripend to financially challenged individuals; however, it was not intended to act as a dependent income for them (Tucker 45). Even though many changes have been made over the past three years, it has not made much of an impact on the problems at hand (Pear). Officials discovered that many welfare recipients misuse the benefits. Studies have shown that the welfare system should begin by providing job placement, ending benefits for illegitimacy, and educating the young.

First, the aspect of job placement is directly related to the misuse of welfare. In order to succeed at rising employment rates, current wages have to increase dramatically. A welfare check ranges form $5.53 to $17.50 an hour; in a like manner, minimum wage is less than an hourly welfare check (Tilly 8). People desire the higher money of a welfare check to that of a low-paying job (Tweedie 117; Tanner 18). This dependency on receiving the check causes many problems not just with the current generation, but future generations will also be similarly affected. These children are acquiring the habits of their parent or parents, thus creating a permanent underclass (Tucker 45). Economic incentives for staying on welfare should be abolished. People should no longer be allowed to remain on the system for extended periods of time.

In accordance with the lesser incentives, the government should place more emphasis on raising the current hourly wage (Haskins 126). Most importantly, the government needs to portray a working world in which job training is not only the standard, but also the required (Tanner 17). Providing jobs with training not only educates the person, but also supplies him or her with opportunities to acquire a better paying job with a future (Willis 4). This training would not just teach skills, but it would make job development workers move more people into the mainstream (Garr 193). In Wisconsin, Republican legislators have devised a method of reform called W-2 Wisconsin Works. W-2 is a work program that would require all recipients over eighteen to work for cash assistance (Tweedie 117). Many welfare recipients are often stereotyped as lazy; moreover, these recipients need to take charge of their lives (Leavitt 22). They need to realize that they are capable of doing competent work. They have to compete to prosper.

Second, illegitimacy needs to be curbed by stopping aid to promiscuous mothers who continue to have out-of-wedlock pregnancies. The establishment of anti-illegitimacy policies is imperative. These policies should propose to stop payment to unwed others (Haskins 126). The government should not reward for illegitimacy. According to Ron Haskins, Trying to help poor children by giving their underage mothers cash will often simply produce more poor children, reformers argued. Wise societies don't reward births outside of marriage in this way (Haskins 126). If a young woman becomes pregnant again, she does not have to make a choice between living at home with her parents or finding a husband. She simply can continue to produce more illegitimate children. This reoccurrence of illegitimacy is exactly one of the reasons that a stopping of incentives is needed (Tucker 45).

In a like manner, the most effective way to reduce births is with a family cap. The family cap is a provision that denies greater cash to women who continue to have births while receiving welfare (Donovan 73). It is designed to discourage out-of-wedlock births (Sollom 41). The government needs to include a child exclusion provision like both China and Japan currently have (Donovan 73). Disincentives are required to act as the primary strategy for regulating poor women's reproductive behaviors (Sollom 41). This unorthodox behavior causes much strain on the welfare system, since the state rewards extra money for additional children.

Third, ... more

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