Friday, 3 October 2014

Review of Rip Van Winkle

First of all, I again apologise at my tardiness in reviews and generally writing anything for this blog at the moment. Uni's been so hectic this week, I've barely had a moment to read. Fortunately, I was asked to read Rip Van Winkle by one of my university professors. As it's so short and easy to read I was able to finish it in about half an hour (thankfully as it seems I've hardly had time to sit down, let alone read this week). Now as I've lived in England my entire life, I'm not entirely up to speed with the whole American Revolution. Bar the fact that you know, England = bad, United America = good. Who says primary school history doesn't get you anywhere eh? Anyways, I've been doing a bit of catch up in that department this week by reading the Declaration of Independence, among other theoretical excerpts from the period. 

Basically when I was reading this I got the feeling that I've heard this quote before. However, I've never read Rip Van Winkle, nor did I feel as though I've heard someone speak it to me. I've been given the impression that Rip Van Winkle is a really big thing out in America, but I've never seen a film based on it, nor read the story. Perhaps the cultural impact of the text in America has permeated to England somewhat, and I may have seen an adaptation as a young child - who knows.

Anyway, I quite enjoyed reading this. It was very interesting in light of my new knowledge about the American revolution (albeit very, very limited). If you dont know already, the story goes as thus: an idle man wanders up into the mountains one day. He meets some strange people who are bowling. He drinks a drink with them and falls asleep. When he awakes he is an old man and his town has changed completely. Though he think he only slept for one night he has actually slept through the entire revolution.

Although the whole story had a bit of a Disney-esque unreality to it, what the writer really wanted to express rings through clear. Having to explain in detail why and how the man slept for so long would have detracted from the point of the text a bit. I think it raises some incredibly important questions: was America really any different after the revolution? Is it just a question of a new coat of paint on an old regime or do the differences lie deeper?

Have you read it? What do you think?

Steph x

No comments:

Post a Comment