Rip van winkle
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“Rip Van Winkle”. Washington Irving. Interest in the common man and childhood. Rip lives in a small village, keeps a farm, and frequently goes hunting and fishing in the mountains nearby. Strong senses, emotions, and feelings. Rip’s desire to escape his wife Rip’s confusion when he wakes up.

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“Rip Van Winkle”

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Rip van winkle

“Rip Van Winkle”

Washington Irving


Interest in the common man and childhood

Interest in the common man and childhood

  • Rip lives in a small village, keeps a farm, and frequently goes hunting and fishing in the mountains nearby.

Strong senses, emotions, and feelings

  • Rip’s desire to escape his wife

  • Rip’s confusion when he wakes up


Love of nature

Love of Nature

  • Setting in Catskill Mountains (p. 69)

  • Rip loves to hunt and fish (p. 70)

  • Descriptions of beauty of the landscape (p. 69, 72, 74-75)

  • Sense of loss when Rip notices that the tree that used to be next to the inn is gone (p. 76)


Celebration of the individual

Celebration of the Individual

  • Rip is the original anti-hero

  • A protagonist who is a non-hero or the antithesis of a traditional hero. While the traditional hero may be dashing, strong, brave, resourceful, or handsome, the antihero may be incompetent, unlucky, clumsy, dumb, ugly, or clownish. (http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/lit_terms_A.html)


Importance of imagination

Importance of imagination

  • Hendrick Hudson and his crew

  • Rip sleeping for twenty years

  • At end of story (p. 80) it says the story was based on the German myth about Frederick der Rothbart and the Kypphaüser Mountains

  • However, the intro to the story (p. 67) says it might be based on the German story of Peter Klaus or the ancient Greek story of Epimenides.


Gothic elements

Gothic elements

  • N/A


How would you describe rip van winkle what does he enjoy what does he dislike

How would you describe Rip Van Winkle? (What does he enjoy? What does he dislike?)

  • Simple and good natured

  • Kind neighbor – plays with children, helps anyone who asks

  • Henpecked husband

  • Doesn’t like profitable work – will help anyone else but neglects his own farm & family


What is the first indication that this story is not wholly realistic

What is the first indication that this story is not wholly realistic?

  • On p. 72 when the stranger appears in his antique Dutch clothes.


Rip van winkle

What is Irving attempting to compare and contrast in this story? What is the message of this comparison?

  • He compares pre- and post-Revolutionary America.

  • He expresses concern that Americans lack: community, appreciation for nature, and connection to the past.


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