Study Questions for "Rip Van Winkle"
1.  In "Rip Van Winkle," Washington Irving pays a great deal of attention to the landscape: the mountains, river, and weather that colors them.  What specific details does Irving include? What different moods does the landscape have? Does the landscape influence Rip's story in any way?
2.  What comparison is Irving implying when he states at the end of the story that Dame Van Winkle's death has released Rip from "petticoat government"?
3.  When Rip returns to his town, the old village inn has been replaced by another building.  How does the description of this new building, its inhabitants and their behavior, signify the larger historical changes that have occurred while Rip was sleeping? Compare descriptions before and after Rip's trip into the mountains.
4.  What do you make of the statements before and after the story? Why 
does Irving include them?
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