Compare and contrast Irving's Rip Van Winkle -Washington Irving's Diction

Essay by cloudreamerHigh School, 11th grade May 2004

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In his story of the Rip Van Winkle, Irving used his unique style of diction, which also developed a contrast between before and after the climax of the story. The major change of scene in the story takes place after Rip takes his nap in the mountains and there is a noteworthy change of Irving's diction from this point onwards. In his description of the surrounding nature and the weather, a distinct contrast exists between the duration of twenty years.

The Kaatskill Mountain is the first feature to be introduced to the setting of the story. It is said that this branch of the Appalachian can be seen "swelling up to a noble height and lording it over the surrounding country." The description of the mountain as having a height of noble status indicates Irving's elaborate modification of the surroundings in the beginning of the story. The fact that the mountain is depicted as lording over the country gives it a majestic sense to the nature.

In relation to the weather, the mountain is portrayed as having the quality of "magical hues" of blue and purple. The use of purple brings forward the idea of a majestic color and we can see that it was, by no means, a coincidence that this particular color was used to describe the mountain. He also described the image of the mountain peak at sunset, "in the last rays of the setting sun, will glow and light up like a crown of glory." However, as the period of twenty years pass and Rip wakes up from his nap, Irving no longer uses his regal diction and instead, introduces a much more unadorned and civilized forms. His reference to the mountain lacks the style he was involved in previously. The change in Irving's diction...