"Rip Van Winkle" is a story by Washington Irving, American short-story writer. The story was published as part of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon
. Take a look at these questions for study and discussion.
- What is important about the title?
- What are the conflicts in "Rip Van Winkle"? What types of conflict (physical, moral, intellectual, or emotional) do you see in the story?
- How does Irving reveal character in "Rip Van Winkle"?
- What are some themes in the story? How do they relate to the plot and characters?
- Compare/Contrast Rip Van Winkle with Gulliver.
- Is Rip Van Winkle consistent in his actions? Is he a fully developed character? How? Why?
- Do you find the characters likable? Are the characters persons you would want to meet?
- Discuss some of the symbols in "Rip Van Winkle."
- Compare "Rip Van Winkle" with "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."
- Does the story end the way you expected? How? Why?
- What is the central/primary purpose of the story? Is the purpose important or meaningful?
- How essential is the setting to the story? Could the story have taken place anywhere else? How realistic if Irving's depiction of the Catskills?
- How does time figure into the story?
- How are women depicted in the story?