?Rip Van Winkle? Reading Questions (story begins on page 522)
- From where does Irving say he got the material for his story?
- What does Irving gain in opening his story with a description of the Catskills?
- Describe Rip Van Winkle and explain why he is so popular.
- Defend Mrs. Van Winkle.
- What does the group at the inn represent?
- How does Irving set up the incident with the group of strange men? What do these men represent?
- What is supernatural about the story and what does the supernatural represent?
- How does Irving make the story history?
- How has Rip?s world changed?How hasn?t it changed?
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" Reading Questions
1. What is the legend of the headless horseman? (I am looking for the story that the villagers believe---hint p. 534)
2. How are the villagers described?
3. We know that Irving is known for his humorous characters. How does Ichabod's physical description make him humorous? BE SPECIFIC.
4. What author does Ichabod like to read?
5. Who is Katrina Van Tassel?
6. Why is Ichabod interested in Katrina?
7. Who is Brom Bones?
8. How is Brom Bones a foil character to Ichabod?
9. What do the villagers believe happened to Ichabod at the end of the story?
10. At the very end of the "Postscript" (552), the narrator of the story reveals something very important. What does he reveal and how is it reflective of Irving's narrators?
Discussion Questions. Answer both questions. Each answer should be at least eight sentences in length.
- Discuss several different ways in which "Rip Van Winkle" addresses versions of the American dream.
2. 'Rip Van Winkle" is an early work that casts the American woman as the cultural villain. Analyze the character of Dame Van Winkle in the story and discuss the significance Irving attributes to her death.
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