Friday, January 2, 2015

Rip Van Winkle Notes

Rip Van Winkle, by John Howe

Cast of Characters:

v     Rip Van Winkle: a kind, but lazy farmer. He tells great stories and makes toys for children, but his wife always complains that their farm is a ruin.

v     Dame Van Winkle: Rip's angry wife.

v     Rip Van Winkle, Jr.: Rip's lazy son.

v     Judith Gardenier: Rip's daughter. She takes the name Gardenier when she marries.

v     Hendrick Hudson: The first explorer of the lands of New York and founder of New York City, once called New Amsterdam. His ghost along with the ghosts of his crew have a party way up in the Catskill Mountains, which Rip Van Winkle discovers.

v     Peter Vanderdonk: The oldest man in town, who still remembers and identifies Rip Van Winkle

The Plot (SPOILER ALERT!!!):

1. This story begins with Rip Van Winkle going into the woods with his dog, Wolf, to go hunting. It's a great way to get away from his nagging wife.

2. While in the woods, Rip sees a strange little man carrying a large keg (sud) of alcohol uphill. The man doesn't speak, but motions for Rip to help him. Rip carries the keg up to the top of a mountain.

3. At the top of the mountain, Rip hears loud thunder, but it's actually a group of strange, little old men playing ninepins (bowling). They cheer when they see the alcohol, but warn Rip not to drink any.

4. While they're having their party, Rip sneaks a cup of this strange amber alcohol, and quickly falls asleep.

5. He wakes up twenty years later, all alone, with a long white beard, his rifle rusted to ruin, and his dog long gone. He doesn't understand what has happened, and walks back down to town.

6. Everything's changed. His wife has died, and his house is a ruin, and his friends have either died or moved away. He goes to the town center where people question his strange beard and old fashioned clothes.

7. Rip gets into trouble claiming to be loyal to the King, not knowing that America won a revolution while he was asleep.

8. Eventually Peter Vanderdonk recognizes him, and his daughter Judith comes to take him to her home and take care of him. Rip spends the rest of his life relaxing at the local inn, and telling everyone his story.
 

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