How is Rip Van Winkle changed by the events of the story?

Expert Answers
slchanmo1885 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Rip Van Winkle is a well liked but lazy man in the beginning of the story. The townspeople enjoy his personality, but his family suffers because he doesn't work at keeping their farm in working order. His wife is a very bossy, domineering woman who constantly gives him a hard time about not working hard enough. However, Rip Van Winkle is a person who enjoys life and does not think that money is important. When Rip Van Winkle returns to the village from his twenty year nap, it can be argued that his character does not change or grow very much, other than physically growing older. He is shocked by what he finds has happened in the past twenty years, but he remains a man who likes to relax and enjoy life. By this time, his wife is dead and he is allowed to relax in his old age as he lives with his daughter and no one nags at him.