What are some of Rip's physical and character traits in "Rip Van Winkle"?

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It's tempting to say that Rip is a lazy man, but I do not think that does him justice. While he doesn't care much about his own appearance or taking care of his wife and family, he is absolutely willing to lend a hand to anybody in need regardless of how difficult the labor may be.

He would never refuse to assist a neighbor even in the roughest toil, and was a foremost man at all country frolics for husking Indian corn, or building stone-fences; the women of the village, too, used to employ him to run their errands, and to do such little odd jobs as their less obliging husbands would not do for them. In a word, Rip was ready to attend to anybody’s business but his own; but as to doing family duty, and keeping his farm in order, he found it impossible.

He is a kind and good-natured man who loves to talk with just about anybody. Additionally, Rip is the kind of guy that is great with kids. The text tells readers that kids would "shout with joy" whenever Rip was seen coming toward them. They loved him as a storyteller, but Rip is also a man who loved to play with the kids as well. Rip's overall great demeanor is something that flows out of him so much that not even dogs get upset at his presence. As for physical traits, the text doesn't give readers much to go on. We are told that he wears old clothes and likes to carry a gun with him. By the end of the story, he is an old man with a long gray beard.

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A "simple good-natured fellow... and an obedient hen-pecked husband," Rip Van Winkle is a kind but "meek" man who loves to play with the children of the village. He is popular with the village women, who recognize the hard nature of his wife and "took his part in all family squabbles." He is popular with the men as well, since Rip is always ready to help a neighbor.

In a word Rip was ready to attend to anybody’s business but his own; but as to doing family duty, and keeping his farm in order, he found it impossible.

However, his wife thinks he is lazy--his farm land is in ruins and he spends little time with his own children. He prefers to sit at the local inn, talking with local villagers--he is a wonderful storyteller--or hunt and fish with his loyal dog. After his long sleep in the woods, Rip awakens to find himself with a long beard, and his wife dead.

There was a drop of comfort, at least, in this intelligence.

Moving into the home of his daughter, Rip returns to many of his old habits, and he is often found sitting at the inn, telling stories to the "rising generation" who are happy to listen to his tales.

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