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rip van winkle

At the end of "Rip Van Winkle," do most of the inhabitants of the village believe his story?


When Rip returns after twenty years and mentions that he was asleep, the townspeople begin to look at each other, winking and tapping their foreheads, indicating that they think Rip has gone crazy. After all, who falls asleep for that long?

This response is common throughout the village as the news spreads. The consensus opinion appears to be that Rip must not be in his right mind.

However, an old man named Peter Vanderdonk confirms Rip's story. He states that it has long been known that the Catskill Mountains are haunted. He says his father once saw men in old fashioned Dutch clothes playing nine pins and making a sound like thunder, just as Rip recounted.

The weight of Peter Vanderdonk's authority seems to put to rest the rumors that Rip has lost his mind. What people privately believe is not divulged. Rip, at the end of the story, goes off to live with his daughter.

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