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Rip Van Winkle and Symbolism

  • Date Submitted: 01/04/2011 06:57 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.2 
  • Words: 5654
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Kaatskill Mountain, a dismembered branch of the great Appalachian mountain which is one of the two highest mountains of the Nortth America(Appalachian in the east and Rocky mountain in the west), is always the pride of American people from the past to present days. At the outset of his story, Washington Irving uses personification to invest the Kaatskil Mountains with human qualities. Kaatskill unveils itself as a trustful guardian and firm territorial protector of the village with the “noble height”. The gorgeous beauty of Kaatskill, in addition, can be described with the “hues and shapes” through “Every change of the season, every change of weather, indeed very hour of a day”. Deliberately making the mountains come alive enables them to become mysterious and unpredictable; they may even play tricks on those who venture within their confines. There’s no surprise that those visual characteristics contribute themselves as a symbol for a safe and eternal life of Americans before they suffer the donination of Great Britain. However, those days of glory didn’t last long till Americans lost their freedom and reluctantly become “a province of Great Britain”. Days become longer, time gets slower than ever before, everything was so quiet and slow that it can be easily captured with the most precise and clearest way, the “clear evening sky” nakedly reveals itself in “blue and purple”, in “hood of gray vapors”. Those specific features of village’s surroundings show us a general view how the villagers spent their life in silent peace but persistant slowliness.
                Spot light of the evening painting is the setting sun gradually submerges in the horizon. This setting sun represents the death of a day and this symbol is successfully captured to signalize the end of freedom days and the beginning of colonial life afterwards. Somewhere lies the remaining twilight, the last rays of the sun, “will glow and light up like a crown of glory” somehow shows the villager’s...


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