As you have learned, the stories that make up a nation’s mythology share several characteristics:
• They are set in the past, often in remote or exciting places and times.
• They are filled with remarkable, strange, or exaggerated characters.
• They feature incredible, heroic, impressive, magical, or mysterious events and their consequences.
• They convey a positive message about a nation or its people.
After reading Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle,” consider it as a story that helped create an American mythology. Then answer the following question in the form of a short essay. Your essay should consist of at least five paragraphs: an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.
How does Irving incorporate at least three of the above characteristics into “Rip Van Winkle”? What is the impact of these characteristics on the story or on the reader’s experience of the story?