What is the point of "Rip Van Winkle"?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write15,968 answers

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Rip van Winkle is a humorous cautionary tale.  I may have a slightly different take.  I think it is about wasting away your life, and letting the world pass you by.  So many people just go about their daily lives without really experiencing what the world has to offer.

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mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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With the beauty of the Catskills and the quaintness of the village before Rip's enchanted sleep, Washington Irving expresses his love of Nature and his nostalgia for a slower, less contentious time.  When Rip van Winkle returns ot the village, he is met by a din of harangues.  He remembers when people sat leisurely at the inn, not haggling about political issues.

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I want to present another interpretation of the...

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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shewolf442 | Student

I deem Washington Irving's intention in writing Rip Van Winkle was to teach his readers a lesson as well as entertain. Irving is revealing to his readers through this story that if you live an inactive life, never accomplishing anything, and are always contented with the bare  minimum life will pass you by.

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