What is the lesson behind The Strength of Slumber: Rip Van Winkle?

Washington Irving is the author of “Rip Van Winkle.” He penned the story and set it in a tiny Dutch village. He desired to touch on the transitory nature of the novel American communities in the early 1800s.


In the tale, Rip encounters a shorter, old man with a long whingy beard and heavy hair. This old guy is wearing an Old Dutch outfit and is gripping a barrel. Rip aids the old guy with his keg plus samples from the barrel as odd males to play nine-pins about them. Rip falls sleeping and then wakes. When he wakes, he considers how upset his spouse will be as he overslept. Rip heads back into the city only to determine that 20 years have gone by (Ferguson, 2005).

Irving’s tale is character-focused instead of plot-focused as well as the character of Rip is finely developed. This is shared that Rip derives from a noble heritage; however, he does not have much character. He is idle while it comes to work and loves to drink. However, he is popular with the kids, neighbors, and dogs. Rip’s main character growth point happens with the relations between Rip and his spouse, Dame Van Winkle. She is continuously nagging Rip (Haspel, 2017).

  In history, “Rip Van Winkle” sparked the achievement of Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent that assured the reputation of Irving plus for the first time in antiquity made American fiction worthy of global respect. A sole, short story has never been more accountable for establishing an increasing culture’s literary morality. The local color program that controlled American literature afterward the Civil War followed the instance “Rip Van Winkle” had set in emphasizing particularities of local mores, styles, folklore, and geography (Islam, 2013). 


The moral of “Rip Van Winkle” is that life passes through with or without an individual and that change is unavoidable. The story moreover displays that a person would pay dearly while they try to evade change; in several ways, Irving is asking his readers to be active members in their own lives and relish every moment.


Ferguson, A. R. (2005) Rip Van Winkle and the Generational Divide in American Culture. Early American Literature, 3 (40): 529-544. 

Fiedler, L. (1996) Love and Death in the American Novel Rev. ed. New York: Dell, 1996. 

Grysa, B. (2010) The Legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus in Syriac and Arab Sources: A Comparative Study. Orientalia Christiaana Cracoviensia. 2(3): 45-59. 

Haspel, P. (2017) Berlin “s own Rip Van Winkle: The Washington Irving connection in Wolfgang Becker “s Goodbye, Lenin. Seminar 53:4. 

Islam, A. J. (2013) The Slumbers of the Cave-The Quran, Historical Sources and Observations. The Quran and Its Message. Web.