Rip Van Winkle Lesson Summary Notes and Explanation in English Class 8th


Rip Van Winkle: The protagonist of the story, he is helpful to everyone but lazy.

Rip’s wife: She nags about Rip’s laziness.

Rip’s son: He looks just like his father.

Rip’s daughter: She informs her father about him being missing for 20 years.

A stranger: A man who calls out Rip’s name in the mountain.


Rip Van Winkle is a story about a villager and how he meets some men who change his life forever. Everyone in the village likes him as he has a good nature but he is very lazy too. One day, it happens that he meets these men when he goes out to the hills. One of the men gives him something to drink which makes him fall into a very deep sleep slowly. Surprisingly, Rip wakes up to realize that he is at the same place he was where the met the man. He goes back to his village to find out that he has been away for almost 20 years and everything has changed completely now.


Rip escapes from his wife

Rip Van Winkle is a villager who once goes out for a walk with his dog. He is fed up with his wife’s nagging and escapes to the hills. A man calls out his name who requires help in reaching the mountain. He decides to help him and give him company on the journey. On reaching there, he finds a group of men. When they reach a hollow, there are thunderous noises.

These men are dwarves who are silent, look rich, have beards, and are playing nine-pins. Rip sits with them and starts drinking their liquor. After drinking, he soon falls into a deep sleep. When he wakes up, he is surprised to find himself in the same spot but with a lot of big changes. Firstly, his musket is rusty, he has a foot-long beard and his dog is not with him.

One night’s sleep turns into 20 years of missing

 He returns to his village in search of answers. No one recognizes him there and he feels confused too. There have been many changes in the village and people were discussing elections. Rip has no idea what the talks were all about. Moreover, there is also another man with the same name, who turns out to be his own son.

Rip learns about the news of his wife’s death as well. After he digests all this, he realizes that the men he met in the hills were said to be ghosts. This is when he realizes he has been away for almost 20 years. Thus, his own daughter takes him to where he continues with his life. It is perhaps a very strange thing that Rip has ever experienced in his life, having wasted most of his life in a deep sleep.


Rip Van Winkle is a story based on a German folktale about an amiable farmer whose life changes when he meets a group of dwarfs and falls into a deep sleep for 20 years.