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Allusion in Rip Van Winkle

Allusion Examples in Rip Van Winkle:

Rip Van Winkle

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"an old Flemish painting..."   (Rip Van Winkle)

All of the descriptions of the men and their dress, such as the laced doublet and high-crowned hat, give the men an out-of-time feel akin to figures featured in a Flemish painting. Alluding to the painting that was brought over during the establishment of New Netherland depicts the time period in which the men may be from.

"Babylonish jargon..."   (Rip Van Winkle)

Babylon was a vast empire in ancient Mesopotamia, and here the expression also refers to the biblical Tower of Babel. In that story, the world spoke a united language and attempted to build a tower that could reach the heavens. However, God caused the citizens to speak different languages so that they could no longer understand each other, halting the tower’s construction for all eternity. The allusion emphasizes that Rip is from a different time, as the topics now being discussed are completely incomprehensible to him.

"Tartar’s lance..."   (Rip Van Winkle)

The Tartars were members of the nomadic Turkic people who allied themselves with the Mongol empire and took part in an expansive invasion of Europe during the 13th century. Alluding to their lances emphasizes the weight of the fishing rod and by extension, the strength and commitment of Rip to his task.

"They all had beards..."   (Rip Van Winkle)

Norse and Germanic gods of thunder were frequently depicted with beards. It is already apparent that the men Rip has encountered in the mountain are unusual, and combining this allusion with the thundering sounds of their ninepins gives them a distinctly supernatural air.

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