In writing, authors use elements to enhance and give the reader a clearer understanding of the literature. Many times authors use more than one element such as imagery and positive/negative connotation to mix up their style. Isak Dinesen mixes those elements to help give the reader a vivid understanding of the story in “The Ring.”
Imagery is defined as the use of details that appeal to the reader’s senses of sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing. The introduction and beginning of “The Ring” take the readers to a happy and peaceful countryside. When the author states, “It was a lovely July morning. Little Woolly clouds drifted high up in the sky, the air was full of sweet scents,” (Dinesen 226) the reader is can imagine the sky with white clouds, almost smell the scent of the sweet country air. The reader is free to imagine what they read. This statement is important to the understanding of setting in which the story is taking place. Isak’s use of imagery also shows the reader a character’s emotions, “Twice her own thoughts made her blush deeply and happily, like a red rose, then slowly her bush died away…” (226).
The story is easier to understand, and more interesting to read when the author uses imagery. When Isak talks about a thief stealing the sheep, he could have just said, “A thief stole the sheep,” but instead he said, “This thief…had broken into the sheep folds of neighborhood like a wolf, had killed and dragged away his prey like a wolf, and like a wolf, had left no trace after him.” (227). The second sentence shows the reader the details of how the sheep was stolen, and how the thief’s actions is compared to a wolf.
Imagery is not the only way Isak conveys the story to the readers. Connotation like the imagery, gives the reader a clear sense of understanding of the setting where the story takes place. When the author says, “the rustic atmosphere of her new life was a matter of wonder and delight,” (226) the word rustic in the sentence is used in a positive way to describe the country and the beauty of it. Isak also uses her style of positive connotation in her descriptions of the characters, “Sigismund, the young husband, had promised himself that from now there should be no stone in his bride’s path, nor should any shadow fall across it” (226). The “young husband” symbolizes the newness and good morals of the husband. Negative connotation also helps to explain stories, “And what therefore God has joined together let man not put asunder” (230). If one did not know what asunder meant, they would have a disadvantage in understanding the sentence. “Asunder” in this sentence means to separate. The author clearly uses these connotations to provide a better explanation and meaning to the story.
If Isak had to choose which styles to use, he picked the right ones to show his insight in “The Ring,” and to give the reader imagination about the story. Isak’s emphasis on the imagery and connotation makes the story appear more clear to the reader’s mind and imagination. His choice in words and descriptions are crucial to the understanding and development of the story.
Dinesen, Isak. “The Ring.” Glencoe Literature The Readers Choice Course 5. Eds.
Beverly Ann Chin and Denny Wolfe, et al. New York: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill,