Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Rip Van Winkle: Introduction
Rip Van Winkle: Plot Summary
Rip Van Winkle: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Rip Van Winkle: Themes
Rip Van Winkle: Quotes
Rip Van Winkle: Characters
Rip Van Winkle: Symbols
Rip Van Winkle: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Washington Irving
Historical Context of Rip Van Winkle
Other Books Related to Rip Van Winkle
- Full Title: “Rip Van Winkle”
- When Written: 1817
- Where Written: England
- When Published: 1819
- Literary Period: American Romanticism
- Genre: Short story
- Setting: The Catskill Mountains, late 1700’s
- Climax: Rip Van Winkle is bewitched by strange beings on the mountain and passes into a deep sleep. When he returns home, nothing is the same.
- Antagonist: Dame Van Winkle
- Point of View: The story has layered narrators; the omniscient voice of the author presents us with the first person account of the fictional historian Diedrich Knickerbocker, who has personally investigated and recorded the events of Rip Van Winkle’s story.
Extra Credit for Rip Van Winkle
Just in Time.Washington Irving also wrote a comprehensive biography of his namesake George Washington, which he completed less than a year before he died.
Overnight Success.Irving composed his first draft of “Rip Van Winkle” over the course of just one night in Birmingham, England.