How do Rip and Dame’s children behave?

Rip's children are described as being wild and lazy.

Expert Answers

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The text does not spend much time describing the children that belong to Rip and Dame Van Winkle. Readers get an incredibly lengthy description of Rip, his habits, his house, and how the rest of the village seems to adore him and dislike his wife.

The short description of Rip's children immediately follows the description of his house. Rip's house is in poor repair. It's an odd thing too because I wouldn't describe Rip as completely lazy. We are told that he has no aversion to helping out his fellow townsfolk with whatever bits of manual labor they require; however, when it comes to his own house, Rip does not see the point. The property has weeds everywhere. The fence is falling apart. We are specifically told that his farm was the worst in the neighborhood. It's a wild and poorly taken care of property, and that is exactly how Rip's children are described.

His children, too, were as ragged and wild as if they belonged to nobody.

Rip's children are poorly clothed. His son is described as an "urchin" which isn't exactly an endearing term. We are told that Rip's son is likely to follow in his father's footsteps and become equally averse to doing any work for his own family. At the story's conclusion, readers see that Rip's son accomplished just as little as his father accomplished in life.

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