The Legend of Sleepy Hollow takes place in a small town called Sleepy Hollow. It tells the thrilling tale of a young man named Ichabod Crane’s hopeless attempt to win the heart and hand of Katrina Van Tassel, and the mysterious threat of the headless horseman. In ,the exposition of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow we are introduced to the characters.
Ichabod Crane, Katrina Van Tassel, Brom Bones, and the Headless Horseman. Ichabod Crane is a tall, lanky school teacher with little money, Katrina is a well off attractive woman, Brom Bones is a burly, and handsome man, and the Headless Horseman is described as a ghostly figure that rides a jet black horse. In, the exposition the reader is introduced to the problem in the story: both Ichabod and Brom want to marry Katrina, and in the town of Sleepy Hollow there is an old tale of a Hessian Soldier who lost his head in a war and rides around town every night. Many members of the town are scared of this Headless Horseman and believe he exists, while others think that the story is just a foolish piece of rubbish.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is ghostly love story yet it manages to maintain a comical atmosphere. The story is a form of writing called American Romanticism that emphasizes the imagination, emotions, and the qualities of a person who is unrealistic and impractical. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was written in 1820 by famed writer Washington Irving. Irving first began his writing career in 1802 when he began submitting letters to the New York Chronicle under the pen name of Jonathan Odstyle. In 1807 his brother and a close friend aided him in his writing career by assisting him in starting a literary magazine called Salmagundi. Irving put his career on hold in 1812 and enlisted in the war, but it was only a short amount of time before he was back on track. In 1819 he sent his brother a short piece titled “The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon Gent” on the conceivable chance that it would be published. It received so much praise that seven more installments were to follow.
After his great success Irving became a household name, became one of the first American Writers to acquire fame in Europe, and continued to write more stories including “Rip Van Winkle”, and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Every story known to mankind has a plot. A plot is the main events designed and presented in a certain order and style by the author. Every plot is divided into certain parts. The parts are: Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution. These parts work together to make the story flow smoothly and create a dynamic storyline.
Rising Action is a series of events that build up anticipation towards the point of the greatest interest. The Rising action follows the Exposition and is made up of certain incidents that are vital to the development of the story. In the Legend of Sleepy Hollow there are three main points of rising action: the first one is when Brom and Ichabod attend Katrina’s party, when Katrina and Ichabod dance and spend time together, and when Ichabod begins to hear strange sounds and become scared while in the forest. The climax is the most intense and the highest point of a story. The climax causes the reader to constantly wonder what will happen next. During the climax the reader experiences tension and suspense. The climax of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is when Ichabod Crane is being chased by the headless horseman.
Ichabod is running for his life, and is trying to get to the bridge so that he can be safe. Falling Action is the part of the story that follows the climax, it is the part where the author begins to wrap things up but doesn’t finish the story. It is also the part where the problem is resolved. The falling action in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is when Ichabod Crane disappears after being chased by the Headless Horseman and no one really knows what happened to him, therefore resolving the conflict of who will get to marry Katrina. The Conclusion is tells us what happens to the characters after the falling action and the conflict is resolved.
The loose ends of the story are tied up unless the author plans on writing a sequel, the conclusion of a story varies, some endings are happy while others are sad. In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow the conclusion is when many stories about the disappearance of Ichabod Crane surface and Brom Bones and Katrina get married. A variety of literary techniques are used by writers to accumulate the reader’s attention and to make their story more interesting. One of these literary techniques is foreshadowing, this technique signals important events to come and creates tension and suspense in a story. Many distinguished forms of foreshadowing come from classic stories and folklore such as the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. In the Legend of Sleepy Hollow there are many examples of foreshadowing that help make the story more interesting. One example of foreshadowing in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is the ¨witching hour¨.
Before Ichabod’s encounter with the headless horseman it is mentioned that it is the “witching hour” which is actually 3:00 am,this term means that it is an hour where evil is most powerful and scary creatures such as witches, and ghosts, come out to scare those around them. The words “the witching hour ” foreshadow the fact that Ichabod will get scared and the headless horseman will come after him because the headless horseman is an evil being, who appears and is most powerful during the witching hour.” Another example of foreshadowing in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow is the fact that Sleepy Hollow is a place built on folklore tales and superstitions. This is evident when the dutch wives tell the story of the headless horseman and when Brom Bones brags about his encounter with him. The presence of the stories and the superstitions sets the tone and not only is ironic but it also foreshadows Ichabod’s encounter with one of the members of a folklore story: the Headless Horseman. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow takes place in the town of Sleepy Hollow which is known for having a dreamlike and fantasy related atmosphere. It seems as though the people who live in the town of Sleepy Hollow are unaware of the sleepy atmosphere of the town, and only those who were not born there can sense it, Ichabod Crane being one of those people.
This atmosphere provides the perfect backdrop for ghostly encounters. So it is ironic that Ichabod ends up crossing paths with the headless horseman, since the headless horseman is such a ghostly character. When writing an author chooses what point of view they want their story to be in. A story can be told from a first person point of view, second person point of view, or a third person point of view. A first person point of view is when the story is narrated by one character at a time, the character narrates what he/she is feeling or experiencing. A second person point of view is when the story is told by the narrator using the word you, when using second person point of view the narrator makes the audience a character. A third person point view is when the story is narrated from the outside in, the narrator is watching and narrating what is going on in the story instead of actually being in the story.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was written from third person point of view. An outside view of the story is presented which is evident all throughout the story. For example: “Ichabod Crane had a soft and foolish heart toward the sex; and it is not to be wondered at that so tempting a morsel soon found favor in his eyes, more especially after he had visited her in her paternal mansion.”This piece of the text shows that the story is narrated from the third person point of view because the narrator is describing how Ichabod feels about Katrina vs.
Ichabod telling the audience how he feels about her himself. Point of view affect the information that the reader receives while reading a story. First person point of view does give us a glimpse into the mind of one character but a lot is left unsaid with the other characters, because the reader is only able to see inside the mind of one character and really feel what one character is feeling. Second person point of view is definitely a rare occurrence in literary works but when a story is written in the second person the reader may get confused as to who one character is referring to if they say you.
In second person the audience is sometimes the character while other times it’s another character within the story. Third person point of view lets us see the story as an overall whole, stories third person often have a narrator or an outside force overseeing and describing what is happening in the story. In the Legend of Sleepy Hollow the story is narrated by an outside force, some people think that the narrator is Irving himself, while others think that it is another character in the story such as a bird or one of the dDutchwives. Since The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was written in the third person we don’t really get a glimpse into the heads of the characters so a lot is left to inferences. If the story was written in the first person the reader would be more likely to better understand the characters and plot of the story. Sadly this would cause the story to lose its unique descriptions and complexity. In every story there are characters, a character is a person, animal, or object that plays a role/part in any form of writing.
Types of character vary from story to story, some characters can be very complex while others can be quite one dimensional. Others can be dynamic characters meaning they change throughout the course of the story while other characters called static characters remain the same. In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow there are many characters but we only get a glimpse into the personalities of a few. These characters being Ichabod Crane, Brom Bones, Katrina Van Tassel, and the Headless Horseman. Ichabod Crane is a dynamic character and a complex character. At first Ichabod Crane doesn’t have a lot of confidence and doesn’t really believe in the stories the Dutch Wives tell, but as the story continues Ichabod builds confidence and believes that he can win Katrina’s hand and heart and starts to believe the stories that the Dutch Wives tell.
Brom Bones is also a complex and dynamic character. At first Brom Bones comes off as a mean and egoistic character and he is, but only when Ichabod is around. As the story progresses Brom Bones transforms into a nice and compassionate character who wants to marry Katrina because he loves her unlike Ichabod Crane.
Katrina Van Tassel is a one dimensional and static character unlike Ichabod and Brom. Katrina remains the same for the entire story and only has two consistent personality traits: she still plays hard to get and is still seen as a beautiful woman with a rich family. Like Katrina the Headless Horseman is a one dimensional and static character. All we know about the Headless Horseman is that he is evil and always roams around at night. In every literary work there is a theme. A theme is the main concept or atmosphere of a story and the underlying meaning of a literary work.
A theme can be easy to find or it can be difficult to find, it could also be stated directly or indirectly. In the case of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow the theme is quite easy to find, is stated indirectly, and the theme is battle. The word battle can be viewed in many different ways. It can mean a physical battle, or an internal battle such as making decisions or fear. In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow the theme of battle is evident throughout the story. And it is suggested through the events of the story and the words and actions of the characters. Brom Bones and Ichabod Crane “battle” for the heart and hand of Katrina Van Tassel.
Ichabod Crane “battles” with the idea of the stories told by the dutch wives and wonders whether they are true or not. And Ichabod battles with the fear of the Headless Horseman. Conflict is the struggle between opposing forces in a literary work. Conflict can be either external or internal.
External conflict is the struggle a character has against an outside force such as another character, society, or nature itself. Internal Conflict is the struggle a character goes through within his or her mind in which the character contends with his or her feelings, decisions, needs, desires or opinions. Conflict is vital to the plot of a story hence it moves the story along and acts as the framework for the story. In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow the conflict in the story is both external and internal conflict.
The external conflict of the story is between Ichabod Crane and Brom Bones as well as the Headless Horseman. Ichabod is caught in conflict with Brom because they both want to marry Katrina. Ichabod is also in conflict with himself because he doesn’t know whether or not to believe the stories about the Headless Horseman, and how to win Katrina’s hand and heart.
Eventually this conflict is solved when Ichabod disappears and Brom Bones swoops in to marry Katrina. The conflict of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is what makes the story so intriguing and dynamic. In a literary piece there are characters and those characters are described by the author to help the reader imagine what the character would look like and bring the story to life.
A character can be described in two ways: direct characterization, and indirect characterization. Direct characterization is when the writer explains character using descriptive adjectives and phrases. Indirect characterization is when the author gives key indicators to the character to aid in their description. This is achieved through the use of the character’s words and thoughts, how others react to that character, and physical appearance. In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow each of the characters is described. Ichabod Crane is described through indirect characterization, first his appearance is described: “He was tall and exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves.” Then it is described how others react to him: Ichabod was even the companion and playmate of the larger boys; and on holiday afternoons would convoy some of the smaller ones home, who happened to have pretty sisters, or good housewives for mothers, noted for the comforts of the cupboard.
Finally his thoughts and feelings are described :Ichabod Crane had a soft and foolish heart toward the sex; and it is not to be wondered at that so tempting a morsel soon found favor in his eyes, Symbolism and Allegory are present in many works of literature. They add a layer of complexity to a story and represent a larger idea or feeling that the writer is trying to get across to the reader. Symbols can be events, characters, items, descriptions, feelings, time of day, and even the setting. Allegories are stories, poems, pictures that contain an hidden meaning.
Characters in works of symbolism are often very complex and dynamic, but characters in works of allegories can come off as one dimensional, and static. Symbolism is present in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. One example of symbolism in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow is the Headless Horseman is a symbol of reality and the imagination. The Headless Horseman is supposedly a historical figure who lost his head during a war but the townsfolk turn this reality into a figment of the imagination.
This represents that the truth can be twisted and turned into something else. In addition to symbolism allegories are also present in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Washington Irving didn’t make up the character the Headless Horseman, he only made up the fact that the Headless Horseman was a Hessian. In fact the tale of the Headless Horseman is so old no one is quite sure who came up with it. This backstory of the Headless Horseman adds an underlying sense of mystery to the story that only the most observant and curious reader can catch. Every story has a protagonist and an antagonist. A protagonist is the main character or leading actor in a literary work.
Often, the protagonist is at the center of a conflict and that conflict is usually with the antagonist. The antagonist is the enemy or rival of the protagonist. The antagonist is usually portrayed as the evil or bad character but that is not always true. In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow it is debatable as to who is the protagonist in the story and who is the antagonist in the story. Some people think that the protagonist is Ichabod because he is the main character who wants to win the heart an hand of Katrina but Brom is in his way. Others think that the protagonist is Brom because he wants to win the heart and hand of katrina beaceu he loves her unlike ichabod who just wants her for her money.
Despite these differing opinions readers can all agree that the Headless Horseman is definitely one of the antagonists since he is constantly striking fear into the hearts of the townsfolk with the stories about him and his brief appearances. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was written in the year 1820, during this particular historical period many important events took place. In 1819 the first savings bank in the United States opened in New York City which allowed people to save their money and keep it safe therefore allowing them to live life without worrying about the safety of their money and carrying around wads of cash or their entire life savings in their pocket which allowed them to concentrate on other things. Around 1819 American Romanticism was at its peak and was a very popular form of writing so it’s no surprise that this affected Washington Irving’s writing. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was written in a from of American Romanticism which gave the story its imaginative and dreamlike atmosphere.