The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow Essay Research

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The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow Essay, Research Paper The Legend of Sleepy Hollow The short story I have chosen to read by Washington Irving is The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. This story takes place in a little village on the Hudson River which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally known as Tarry Town. The main character in the story, Ichabod Crane, who tarried in Sleepy Hollow came about for the purpose of instructing the children of the vicinity. The main point of the story began with the arrival of a Negro with an invitation to Ichabod to attend a party at the Van Tassel s mansion. After receiving the good news, Ichabod fixed up his best and only suit and borrowed a horse from Hans Van Ripper, in order to impress Mynheer Van Tassel s daughter, Katrina. He did

so by dancing with her upon arriving at the party. During the dance, Brom Bones, who is a rival of Ichabod, sat brooding in the corner full of jealousy and sorely smitten with love. When the dance came to an end, Ichabod was attracted to some sager folks, who, along with old Van Tassel, were gossiping over former times about the war. All of these tales could not compare to the tales of ghosts and apparitions that had succeeded the conversation. The neighborhood of Sleepy Hollow is rich in legendary treasures of the kind. Several of the Sleepy Hollow residents were present at the Van Tassel s, sharing their wild and wonderful legends. One tale told was about old Brouwer, and how he met up with the Headless Horseman returning from his trip into Sleepy Hollow. He was galloped over

bush and brake, over hill and swamp, until they reached the bridge, where the Horseman turned suddenly into a skeleton, throwing old Brouwer into the brook. This tale was followed by one of Brom Bone s. He said that on returning one night from a nearby village, he had been overtaken by this midnight trooper. This trooper had offered to race him for a bowl of punch, and as they came to the church bridge, the trooper vanished. All of these tales sunk deep into Ichabod s mind. When he was on his way home from the Van Tassel s party, all of the stories of the ghosts and goblins came crowding upon him. In order to get home, he had to pass the very place where all of those stories had taken place. As he started to approach the tree in the road, he began to whistle. The whistle was

answered with a blast sweeping sharply through the dry branches. About two hundred yards from the tree, a small brook crossed the road. As he approached the stream he kicked his horse to cross the bridge over the stream, but the horse made a lateral movement instead. Soon after he regained control of the horse, and crossed the bridge the Headless Horseman through his head at him knocking him off the horse. After that all that remained was his hat, a shattered pumpkin, and the horse and saddle, but no Ichabod. A folk-tale is a quality that governs the overall meaning of Washington Irving s short stories. The folk-tale form imposes sharp limits on character development and has three characteristics, they are 1. Stock Characters, 2. Gothicism, and 3. Humorous Tone. Irving uses all

three characteristics in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Stocked or stereotyped characters are character types that appear so often, that the reader immediately recognizes their nature. The two stocked or stereotyped characters I am going to talk about are: 1. Ichabod Crane, and 2. Katrina Van Tassel. To me Ichabod Crane is a typical thin and clumsy man. But Irving saw it a little differently by saying He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at the top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long nose, so that it looked like a weather cock, perched upon his spindle neck, to