Rip Van Winkle

Washington Irving

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Washington Irving

Year Published



Short Story


Allegory, Fantasy

Perspective and Narrator

"Rip Van Winkle" is told from a third-person omniscient point of view by Diedrich Knickerbocker, a narrator who purports to be an amateur historian. Knickerbocker, in fact, is the pen name of Washington Irving.


"Rip Van Winkle" is written in the past tense.

About the Title

The title "Rip Van Winkle" refers to the name of the main character, a pleasant, if rather lazy, man. In the years since the story's publication, Rip Van Winkle has come to signify an individual oblivious of his surroundings.


This study guide and infographic for Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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