In "Rip Van Winkle," how do you think Dame Van Winkle felt after Rip's disapperance?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think, from the information that we are given about Rip in this excellent short story, that his wife would have been delighted to have finally gotten rid of him. Let us remember that although the rest of the villagers blame Rip Van Winkle's wife for their marital strife, it is clear that Rip would have been a terrible husband to have been married to. Note the conclusion that the narrator gives us about Rip's character and the way that his limitations are commented upon: 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, it was impossible.

A rather depressing description follows of the way that he neglects his own family, children and work, and the poverty that his wife and children suffer as a result. Certainly, he seems to be the kind of character that his wife would have been better off without rather than constantly having to cope with his complete lack of interest and diligence when it came to his own family. I would think that she would have felt thoroughly emancipated.