Rip Van Winkle Questions and Answers
by Washington Irving

Rip Van Winkle book cover
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What is the confrontation with the historical change in the story "Rip Van Wrinkle"?

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Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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When Rip awakens from his two decade reverie, the world is quite different. The American Revolution has taken place. Rip, however, is no more in touch with the world now than he was then; his only concern, both before and after his nap, being staying out of trouble and enjoying a pint or two (or three):

How that there had been a revolutionary war—that the country had thrown off the yoke of old England—and that, instead of being a subject of his Majesty George the Third, he was now a free citizen of the United States. Rip, in fact, was no politician; the changes of states and empires made but little impression on him...

The lesson here? Perhaps it is that time will not change apathy for some people.

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