Compare & Contrast Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving

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Late 1700s: Husbands and wives divide up labor according to a strict system. Men are responsible for farm work and handling money and business; women run the house, the children, and the garden.

Today: Husbands and wives are more likely to divide up responsibilities according to the talents of each person, although women are still primarily responsible for house cleaning and child care.

Late 1700s: Laws would make it difficult, if not impossible, for Dame Van Winkle to divorce her husband and remarry, even after being abandoned for twenty years.

Today: A woman in Dame Van Winkle's position would be able to divorce her husband after being abandoned and would be able to find a new partner to help her maintain the farm.

Late 1770s: Irving's hometown, New York City, is a major metropolitan center with a population of 80,000. The population of the United States is under...

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This section contains 162 words
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Buy the Rip Van Winkle Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Rip Van Winkle from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.