Rip Van Winkle Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 57 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Rip Van Winkle.
This section contains 1,006 words
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"Rip Van Winkle" is framed with commentary from an unnamed writer. Before the story itself begins, three paragraphs in brackets explain the story's origin: The tale "was found among the papers of the late Diedrich Knickerbocker," a man who dedicated much of his life to studying and recording the history of the Dutch inhabitants of upstate New York. Knickerbocker's published history, the narrator claims, is known for its "scrupulous accuracy," and the tale of "Rip Van Winkle," therefore, should be accepted as truth.

The tale itself opens with a description of the Kaatskill (now called Catskill) Mountains, beautiful and mysterious, at the foot of which is the village where the central character lives. The time is the late 1760s or the early 1770s, while the area is still a colony of Great Britain under the rule of King George III. Rip Van Winkle is a "simple, good-natured fellow...

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This section contains 1,006 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Rip Van Winkle Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Rip Van Winkle from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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