Rip Van Winkle Summary:

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Andrea88
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Rip Van Winkle summary:
Rip Van Winkle is a story about Rip falling asleep for 20 years in the Catskill Mountains and wakes up to discover the world around him has changed. He finds that the American Revolutionary war has taken place and instead of being a subject of His Majesty George the Third, he is now a free citizen of the United States.
Characters
Rip Van Winkle
Rip Van Winkle is a “simple good-natured fellow” living in a small village in upper New York during the time that New York is a colony of Great Britain. To the neighbors he is known as a kind and helpful man, always eager to play with children or help with a chore. To his wife, however, he is known as a lazy and useless man, who neglects his own children and leaves his own fields untended and his fences broken.
Dame Van Winkle
Dame Van Winkle is Rip’s wife. “Dame” is not her first name, but her title, the word used by the Dutch inhabitants in place of “Mrs.” In the eyes of Rip and his sympathetic neighbors; Dame Van Winkle is stern and unreasonable. The narrator calls Rip “an obedient hen-pecked husband,” and places his wife in the category of “shrews,” (a woman of violent temper and speech) calling her a “termagant,” or overbearing, wife. Apparently, she finds fault with Rip because he does no profitable work, does not help around the house, and shows no interest in the well being of his children or his wife. How readers are to see Dame Van Winkle’s character is a central question in the story: Is she a shrew, or is her anger at her husband understandable? For Rip the answer is clear. When he returns to the village to find that his wife has died, he feels the news as “a drop of comfort.” Now he is free to live just as he did before, doing no work, being accountable to no one, but without his wife’s complaining.
Judith Gardenier
Judith Gardenier is Rip’s daughter. As a young girl, she and her…...

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