What is different when Rip Van Winkle wakes up that was not there before he fell asleep?  

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After Rip Van Winkle's strange ordeal with the men playing nine-pins on the mountain, he falls into a deep, drunken slumber. Upon waking, he is concerned that he may have slept on the mountain all night, not yet guessing at the true nature of his circumstance. He finds that his beloved dog, Wolf, is no longer there, but Rip assumes that he must have chased a small animal. Furthermore, Rip finds that in place of his gun is just an "old firelock" that is so rusted and old that it cannot possibly be his. He writes this off as a trick of the men who gave him liquor the night prior.

However, when Rip attempts to return to the "amphitheater" hollow where he originally found the strange men, he finds that the natural landscape has changed, and the amphitheater is nowhere to be found. When Rip returns to town, he finds the most striking absence of all: The influence of the British Empire is nowhere to be found. When asked who he voted for, Rip, having never participated in this democratic...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 880 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 18, 2019