Rip van winkle

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Alicia Mariño Fernández
Introducción á Literatura Norteamerica







Table of Contents



o Introduction ...................................... page 3




o Structure & time……………………. page 4




oOrder…………………………………page 7




o Epigraph……………………………. page 9




o Prologue……………………………...page 10




o Tale……………………………………page 11




o Epilogue……………………………….page 12




o Conclusion…………………………….page 13






















Introduction






In this essay I am dealing with the topic of the structure and time in WashingtonIrving’s “Rip Van Winkle”. These topics are very important in the understanding of any literary work. But especially in “Rip Van Winkle” since structure, time and plot are closely connected.


“Rip Van Winkle” was first published in 1819, in the collection entitled The Sketch Book, by Washington Irving. The story deals with a man who lives during the British colonial period, in the NewYork area. He is a popular man loved in the village, but not as loved by his wife because of his laziness. His inability to make a living for himself provokes the deep annoyance of his wife. One day Rip goes into de woods with his dog and his gun. After some time hunting he meets some strange men. He drinks a beverage and falls asleep in the forest waking up after 20 years. America has alreadyacquired its independence and Rip will have to face this new situation. This story is adapted from a German folktale. As we are told in the note:


“The foregoing Tale, one would suspect, had been suggested to Mr. Knickerbocker by a little German superstition about the Emperor Frederick der Rothbart, and the Kypphäuser Mountain.”


It should be taken into account the differentinfluences in the story. Washington Irving writes a tale with many different origins; such as, Diedrich Knickerbocker and Rip Van Winkle are of a Dutch origin; the story is a German folktale and the postscript gives the reader a native, Indian, background about the place. This emphasizes the purely American character of the story, since America is a multicultural country inhabited by people frommany different places.







Structure

According to A Dictionary of Literary Terms, structure is “The overall principle of organisation in a work of literature. Literature may be shaped by many different factors (narrative, plot, images, symbols etc)”


There are different types of structure concerning the ending and the order of the events. In relation with the orderof the events we can distinguish between:

Lineal structure: in this type structure the story is told in a continuous order.

Circular structure: The beginning of the story coincides with its ending as we can see in “A rose for Emily” by William Faulkner.

Spiral structure: The story goes back to certain episodes in order to give them more emphasis. As example of this type of structure is“Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift.
This story has a different kind of structure. It is a frame narrative; that is, “a story within a story, within sometimes yet another story”. For example in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
We also have a second level of analysis which is called framed narration, conformed by Diedrich Knickerbocker’s historical documents which surround the tale.Time
According to the Dicionário de Narratologia, time can be understood as chronological sequences of events which can be dated with more or less rigor.


Time refers to the events which occur in a period and with a certain order. We can distinguish between two different types of time within as story; external time and internal time.

Internal time:...
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