Why did Irving make Rip sleep for twenty years in "Rip Van Winkle" ? 

Expert Answers info

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Rip Van Winkle sleeps for twenty years in imitation of the old German legend of "Peter Klaus," upon which it is based; also, his somnolence for these two decades allows him to sleep through the American Revolution and a few years afterward. Thus, he awakens to an entirely new country that he does not recognize. His lack of recognition is imitative of Irving's nostalgia for the Romanticism of an earlier age.

Washington Irving 's story has a larger than folklorist meaning as Rip Van Winkle's "enchanted sleep" of twenty years is, as...

(The entire section contains 280 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial