What is an example of a periodic sentence in "Winter Dreams"? 

Expert Answers
amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A periodic sentence is designed to be poetic and/or create suspense and anticipation because the full and completed meaning behind the sentence does not resolve until the very end of the sentence. With periodic sentences, the subordinate and dependent clauses come at the beginning and the independent clause will come at the end. A good example of this is "Over the river, and through the woods, To Grandmother's house we go." The first two phrases ("over the river" and "through the woods") are subordinate and dependent; they support the main idea, the independent clause, which is that "we go to Grandmother's house." 

The first sentence of the second paragraph is a periodic sentence. "In the fall when the days became crisp and gray, and the long Minnesota winter shut down like the white lid of a box, Dexter's skis moved over the snow that hid the fairways of the golf course." The main idea (and independent clause) comes toward the end of the sentence. It is "Dexter's skis moved over the snow that hid the fairways of the golf course." This is a complete sentence by itself, but with the other two subordinate clauses in front of it, it becomes periodic. 

The last sentence of the third paragraph is short but a perfect example of a periodic sentence because the main idea is completed with the final four words. "Without elation, without an interval of moist glory, the cold was gone." 

In Part IV, the narrator notes "When autumn had come and gone again it occurred to him that he could not have Judy Jones." The main idea ("he could not have Judy Jones") is put at the end. The phrases before the main idea are subordinate. "When autumn had come and gone again" is subordinate and dependent. "It had occurred to him" is independent but subordinate to the main idea. 

Again in Part IV, Dexter goes to visit Irene. "In the middle of May when the weather balanced for a few days on the thin bridge that led to deep summer he turned in one night at Irene's house."