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Is Washington Irving an Anti-Feminist - Research Paper Example

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The New York born Washington Irving (1783-1859), the eleventh and youngest child of a wealthy Scottish-English merchant family is reputed as the Father of American Literature. His literary works became influential in the development and assertion of American identity at a time…
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Is Washington Irving an Anti-Feminist
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Download file to see previous pages Irving thus became reputable not only in England and America but also internationally.
Although criticized by his contemporaries as mere imitator and recycler of antiquated British styles and German tales rather than a creative genius, his innovative style of writing, remarkable use of literary techniques and vivid description of his fictitious characters, notably Rip Van Winkle and Ichabod Crane, in the backdrop of rural America made his short stories leave a deep impression on his readers’ imagination until today. In fact, his famous immemorial short story Rip Van Winkle had become instrumental in the development of modern short story as a distinct American literary art form. (Andrés and Requena 27; Oates 17)
He was also ascribed the status of a classic American writer decades before his death. More remarkably, Irving achieved his renown as a writer at a time when literature was perceived in America to be a dangerous profession due to the racial prejudice of the superior British literary establishment; literature in America then was all imported. (Andrés and Requena 26) “The real risk,” Rubin-Dorsky commented, “involved in the response of the British literary establishment, which had been merciless in its criticism of American writers, chastising them for their defective taste and brutish manners” (507). In fact, Irving achieved his reputable literary status because he was able to successfully secure the approval of European readers without having to renounce his American identity (Cunliffe 85). Seeing his English readers greatly admiring his works, Irving realized he could boast his American identity through his pen. So, he used his flair in writing to make known the American West to the rest of the world, and to pay homage to one of the Founding Fathers and the First President of the United States of America, his namesake, George Washington. (Elliot 171)
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