Rip Van Winkle

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Get here the summary and notes of NBSE class 9 English chapter Rip Van Winkle. However, these notes should be used only for references and additions/modifications should be made as per the requirements.

SUMMARY: Rip Van Winkle tells the story of a cheerful man named Rip who is popular among his neighbours, animals, and children. He is so friendly that he would not be left alone. He is also very helpful and would never deny any help to anyone. But, at the same time, when it comes to his personal life, he is very irresponsible and lazy. He would not take care of his farm, animals, or children. For his such attitude, he constantly needs to tolerate the rage of his wife Dam Van Winkle. Most of the times, when his wife would start shouting, he would escape to the jungle with his dog Wolf and gun. There, he would spend his day hunting squirrels and fishing.

One such day, he notices a man climbing a hill carrying a keg. The man is short and stout and wears strange clothes. He helps the man and reaches the top of the hill where there are more such men playing a game. The man gives him some drinks, drinking which he falls asleep. When he wakes up, his beards have grown till his feet, his gun is rusted, and his dog nowhere. He returns to his village and no one recognises him, because he has been missing for 20 years.

1. Rip Van Winkle had a way with children. How did they show their affection for him?

Ans: Rip Van Winkle was a good man and a kind neighbour. The children of the village would shout with joy whenever he approached. He helped them at sports, made their playthings, taught them to fly kites and shoot marbles, and, told them long stories. Whenever he went about the village, he was surrounded by a troop of them, hanging on his skirts, clambering on his back, and playing a thousand tricks on him.

2. How did Rip Van Winkle spend his days?

Ans: Rip was lazy and hated work. He would sit on wet rock with a long and heavy rod and fish all day. He would carry a light gun on his shoulder and spend hours in the woods to shoot a few squirrels or wild pigeons.

3. What happened as a result of Rip Van Winkle’s laziness?

Ans: Due to his laziness, his fences were always falling to pieces. His cow would either go astray or get among the cabbages. Weeds grew in his fields. His children were ragged and wild. Because of his idleness, his wife would continually scold him.

4. How did Rip Van Winkle react to his wife’s scolding?

Ans: Rip’s one way of avoiding her wrath was to take his gun in hand and stroll away into the woods accompanied by his dog Wolf. There he would seat himself at the foot of a tree and share his grief with Wolf.

5. Who did Rip encounter on the hills?

Ans: On the hills, Rip encountered a short old fellow, with thick bushy hair, and a grizzled beard. He was dressed in a very old Dutch fashion. and wore a pair of breeches and carried on his shoulder a stout keg.

6. Where did the strange man take Rip?

Ans: The strange man took Rip to a place on the mountain where there were odd-looking persons playing at nine-pins. They were dressed strangely like the man who had got Rip there.

7. What were the strange men doing?

Ans: The strange men were playing at nine-pins. What seemed odd to him was that although the men were playing games, there was complete silence.

8. How was Rip lulled into a deep sleep?

Ans: Rip lulled into deep sleep after drinking a few glasses of the drinks that the strange men offered him.

9. How had everything changed when Rip woke up?

Ans: When Rip woke up, he found himself alone and saw in place of the clean well-oiled gun, an old rusted one was lying next to him. Wolf also had disappeared. He found his beard had grown a foot long and he couldn’t recognize anyone in the village. Their dresses were of a different fashion. Strange children were hooting after him. The dogs barked at him as he passed.

In fact, the very village had changed. It was larger and more populated.

10. How was Rip Van Winkle finally accepted back in his village?

Ans: When one of the women in the village recognized Rip after he returned to the village after 20 years, his daughter heard of this. She came and took him home to live with her. Soon Rip made new young friends and once again he was their favourite uncle.

II. Think and write

1. How would you characterize Rip Van Winkle? (Hints: you may include henpecked, easy-going, lazy, irresponsible, likeable, etc.) Give one reason for each quality.

Answer: Rip was a favourite of the village women and children, but he was at the same time henpecked. He’d be constantly bombarded by his wife for his idle lifestyle but he would never utter a word. He was easy going and irresponsible towards his house, farm and the children. He took everything casually and never was serious or eager to work for his family. He would keep postponing whatever he was told or given to him. He was lazy and disliked to work. He preferred to take his gun and hunt or sit on a rock and fish the whole day.

The village women liked him because he’d never refused to run errands for them, to play with kids, make for them toys or tell them stories.

2. How would you characterize his wife? (Hints: you may include-a shrew, hot-tempered, bossy, disturbed, etc.) Give one reason for each quality.

Answer: Dame Van Winkle was a shrew who would continuously remain displeased with her husband for fair reasons. In the story, she was hot-tempered and disturbed as her husband would lead a lifestyle that was causing her married life to fall into disarray. He was irresponsible and would neither take care of his farm, animals, or children. Most of the time, it was Dame Van Winkle who would fill the shoes of her husband and overtime this had made her fussy, peevish, and bossy. She couldn’t tolerate the easy attitude of Tip and would get offensive, causing Rip to escape to hunting and fishing.

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