Rip Van Winkle Questions and Answers
Give 3 adjectives that describe Rip Van Winkle in the beginning of the story. What has made him that way?
How does Irving create the mood of magic and fantasy which helps prepare the reader for Rip's strange experience in the mountains?
Describe the appearance and behavior of the group that Rip meets on the mountains. What causes him to fall asleep?
Why does the narrator say that a termagant wife can be considered a "tolerable blessing" in "Rip Van Winkle"?
How does the fictional character of Rip Van Winkle contrast with the historical character of Benjamin Franklin, the self-made man?
This story is supposed to have a light-hearted tone and entertain the reader. Find and write down a line where Irving uses humor.
Compare and contrast "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." How are the stories of these men similar and how do they differ?
How would you describe the amphitheater before Rip falls asleep, and how would you describe it after he wakens? How do they compare? What is the significance?
How do the descriptive words in the introductory paragraphs, such as "magical," "fairy," and "noble," prepare readers for the story?
How does Irving use his two narrators (Crayon and Knickerbocker) to defend the tale's credibility, and how would you describe the tone in these introductory passages?
Explain how Rip Van Winkle might be seen as a model American romantic hero. What are some of his qualities that can support this?
In "Rip Van Winkle," what hints does the author give that tell Rip he is no longer in the same time which he fell asleep?
How would you describe the encounter with the little man and the game of nine pins? Why do you think Irving spends so much time describing them? Why does Rip feel that they are the most "melancholy party of pleasure he had ever witnessed"?
Do you, as a late twentieth-century reader, find the story humorous, or is it too outdated to be funny to us today? Explain your response.
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