Rip Van Winkle Discussion Questions

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Many critics have studied Irving's familiarity with seventeenth-century Dutch or Flemish painting, and Rip himself thinks of an "old Flemish painting" when he sees the bowling men in their unusual clothing. Find copies of paintings of country life by Adriaen Brouwer, Willem Buytewech, Jan Steen, Adriaen van Ostade, Esaias van de Velde, or others of the so-called Dutch genre painters. Is Rip's perception that the strangers make up a "melancholy party of pleasure" echoed in the scenes depicted in the paintings?

Make a list of important published writings by Americans in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. In what ways are Irving's stories unusual? What do they share with other writings?

When Rip Van Winkle sleeps for twenty years, he sleeps through the American Revolution and awakens into an independent nation. Examine life in Rip's village before and after his long sleep, and in colonies...

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This section contains 232 words
(approx. 1 page 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.