In "Rip van Winkle" what feature of the place seems to be the most memorable? Washington Irving

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write9,714 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The Catskills setting of most of "Rip Van Winkle" is memorable for its slow-moving, backward-looking aspect, a village caught in stasis, a place out of joint with the times even before Rip's memorable nap. We learn from the start that the Catkills (or "Kaatskills") are a "dismembered" (cut off) part of the Appalachians. The village itself is "of great antiquity" and some of the homes, dating back to its earliest Dutch days, are "sadly time worn." Rip himself has a slow-moving, aimless quality: he can happily go fishing all day "without a nibble" and hunt all day merely to shoot a few squirrels, and while he will gladly help neighboring wives with errands, he lacks the goal-oriented drive and ambition that would enable his family to get ahead. His family farm is shrinking and has fallen into disrepair. No wonder his wife harangues him.

The town's small inn, marked by the portrait of George III, also captures the stasis of the village and its men (if not its women), who do little and are...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 867 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial