Literary elements used by washington irving in rip van winkle

Essay by Vkasza March 2004

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Luscious literary elements

All well written stories are composed of specific elements that capture the reader's imagination and thoughts. An author is usually identified by a definitive style, whether it be romance, historical, the use of suspense, and even biographical. Successful authors such as Washington Irving, use particular literary elements including a well thought out and instructive theme, characterization, and setting. These helped compose a story that would entertain and maintain the reader's interest. In the story "Rip Van Winkle", Irving focused upon an intuitive theme or insight about human life that is revealed in a literary piece. Irving's ability to construct a creative setting or time and location in which a story takes place, allowed the readers ability to effectively focus upon the story. While the theme and setting played significant roles in maintaining the reader's interest, his use of effective characterization or process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character, helped in obtaining the reader's imagination through out the story.

Irving's ability to appeal to the reader's senses effectively establishes the setting. Visual descriptions such as "when the weather is fair and settled they are clothed in blue and purple" and "small yellow bricks" allowed the reader to quickly visualize the setting. Irving's use of emotive language, by introducing words such as "henpecked husband", "squabbles", and "evening gossiping", allowed the reader to identify emotions and feel part of the story. The effective use of auditory senses added interest to the setting, such as "the birds were hopping and twittering through out the bushes" and "the noise of the balls, which, whenever they were rolled, echoed along the mountains like rumbling peals of thunder". The use of time and location played an important part of the waking of Rip Van Winkle, the...