“Rip Van Winkle” has been described as a story that is an expression of the “Myth of the Runaway Male,” as a “tale of a man who deserted his wife for twenty years’ sleep and returned to find her (happily) dead.” What elements in the story justify such a conclusion? Do such elements and the descriptions of Dame Van Winkle support the claim that Irving is fundamentally anti-feminist.
Comparing and contrasting the ways that Irving’s work criticizes both Rip and Dame Van Winkle
It may do some good to separate the narrator of the story from the author of the work, too.
Is the narrator misogynistic, or is the author himself?