Rip Van Winkle

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Character Analysis of Rip Van Winkle What would it be like to spend twenty years sleeping through life? The story entitled “Rip Van Winkle” is an 1819 short story publication this is authored by Washington Irving. The reader is drawn into the story of the lazy, neighborly, henpecked man who is affectionately known as Rip Van Winkle. Set in the Catskill Mountains Irving tells the story of Rip who supposedly falls into a deep slumber and does not awake for twenty years. During this period of slumber, Rip escapes the nagging of his wife, the American War for Independence, and the harsh realities of life. In Washington Irving’s short story the character of Rip Van Winkle is likeable by others, helpful to his neighbors, but is lazy in his own home. Rip Van Winkle is likeable. Possessing the qualities of being liked by children and animals have been said to be reliable indicators about the type of person one is. Rip is well liked by both. He devotes his time interacting with the children in the village. He plays with the children in his village, tells the children stories, makes toys for them, and teaches them how to play games. The dogs in the village also like Rip. According to the story “not a dog would bark at him throughout the neighborhood” (457.) Although Rip is continually criticized and chastised by his wife for his many faults the women of the town take pity on poor Rip and repeatdly side with him when gossiping about his marriage relationship with Dame Van Winkle. Rip certainly has his flaws, but he is genuinely liked rather than ridiculed by the other villagers. Rip Van Winkle is helpful to his neighbors. Although Rip neglects his own fields, barn, and the general upkeep of his own property, he is always ready and willing to assist a neighbor who may be in need. According to the story, “He would never even refuse to assist a neighbor in the roughest
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