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Sleepy Hollow is a small town in Tarrytown, New York, known for its haunted atmosphere and ghost stories. According to local legend, Sleepy Hollow was bewitched during the Dutch settlement in the early seventeenth century, by a Native American chief who had lived in the area before the Hudson River was discovered. The town is infamous for mysterious occurrences, including trance-like visions, strange sights, and voices in the night air.
In the myth of Sleepy Hollow, the main character is the schoolmaster Ichabod Crane. The schoolmaster is well-read, and is known as a "man of letters" in the town. Unlike many schoolmasters, he does not rule over his students in a harsh manner, instead taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of each student. He is also known as a "friend" to the young boys in Sleepy Hollow, and is often seen walking the younger boys home on holidays. However, he only walks the boys home who have attractive families and good food.
The legend begins with the character Ichabod Crane, a schoolteacher from Connecticut. He was tall, but exceedingly lank, and concerned about the supernatural. Locals in Sleepy Hollow filled his head with ghost stories, and one day he was riding home alone, he encountered a figure riding forward from the darkness. This figure remained with him for the rest of the book, until he disappeared and was never seen again.
In the novel The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Abraham Van Brunt (also known as Brom Bones) is a secondary antagonist. The gang leader of Sleepy Hollow, he is the town's rowdy and unsavory character. While Ichabod Crane is a recent transplant from Connecticut and the young Brom Bones hails from the Hudson River Valley, both have longstanding feuds. The tension between these three characters escalates when the three decide to hold a harvest party.
The infamous Headless Horseman first appeared in the novel by Washington Irving. It was the character of Brom Bones that made him the most well-known. This character embodies the dark and sinister side of mankind. The novel also features a character named Brom Bones, who is said to be a descendant of the Hessian soldier who once terrorized the town.
The Headless Horseman
The Headless Horseman in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a gothic tale written by Washington Irving. It was published in 1819 as part of a collection of short stories and essays by Irving. The story was written while Irving was living in Birmingham, England. While he was away from his home, he found inspiration for the tale and wrote it. Now, readers can experience a terrifying tale of terror with the Headless Horseman.
Although the actual story of the Headless Horseman isn't based on real life, the premise is the same. The Headless Horseman, a ghost, is a demonic creature that rides a horse and carries a head. In Ireland, the Horseman is often depicted riding a horse. Washington Irving's tale has been adapted into numerous works of fiction, including the children's book "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" and a Disney cartoon.
Ichabod's expulsion from Sleepy Hollow
Irving makes a point in this classic novel of male and female power struggles to present an alternative worldview. In this version, the narrator, the Horseman, and Ichabod all represent male imperialism in the form of war, fortune hunting, and squirrel hunting. In the end, all three characters seek to acquire the spoils of Sleepy Hollow. The conflict that arises is essentially a misunderstanding between male and female storytelling.
The issue of imagination has long supported a sympathetic view of Ichabod Crane. Moreover, Irving makes it clear that he does not consider the Dutch natives of Sleepy Hollow to have the visionary propensities that the latter possess. Hence, a skepticism that Ichabod shares is unwarranted by the author. While Ichabod's expulsion from Sleepy Hollow is a result of the Dutch villagers' impatience, there is an alternative view of the nature of the New World garden.
Irving's moral satire
The moral satire in Irving's Sleepy Hollow takes aim at both the Puritan and the Dutch ways of thinking. While the novel is essentially about a colonial society, Irving uses the story to critique both. He attacks the Puritan notions of land and demonic spirits, but refrains from imposing an explicitly Dutch mythology. Rather, he shows the two poles of colonialism as incompatible, but the moral satire reaches a satisfying conclusion.
While attempting to make a point about the Dark Romantic worldview, Irving uses satire to illustrate the perils of believing in things that are not true. His point is that these beliefs can lead people to make poor choices, leaving them vulnerable to betrayal and violation. In this way, Irving's moral satire of sleepy hollow is not simply a novel, but a study of the consequences of human behavior.
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