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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Project Work I
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Project Work

on 24 November 2012

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Transcript of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow The Themes The setting The natural and the supernatural are defining themes of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Washington Irving shows the contrast between the natural setting of Sleepy Hollow - the birds, trees and the rest of the flora and fauna of the area - and the supernatural stories and superstitions of locals.

At the end of the story, the narrator tell us that Sleepy Hollow’s residents all seem to believe that Ichabod crane “was spirited away by supernatural means”. Despite all the natural evidence, many people blame the Headless Horseman for Ichabod's disappearance.

Irving shows in an ironic way that ghosts, goblins, witches and all the other supernatural creatures are “controlled” by natural things. Though the supernatural is by definition beyond the natural world, people seek to rationalize and contain it. The Natural and the Supernatural Although “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a story told in a humorous manner, it does not convey the most flattering image of Men.

The author focusses his criticism in Ichabod Crane’s character. His opportunism is revealed when he convoys home the students that happened to have pretty sisters or good housewives for mothers. Also, the only reason why Ichabod desires Katrina is for the increase material wealth she would represent.

Even when Ichabod shows his “good side”, helping out some farms in their daily life tasks, he stays around, keeping the children and wives happy, so that they will let him stay, providing food and accommodation. Human Selfishness The Plot The action of the story happens in Sleepy Hollow, a very quiet place among hills near Tarry Town, said to be under some kind of enchantment because of its paranormal occurrences. Its inhabitants all seem to believe that the area is haunted by ghosts, goblins and other supernatural creatures. However, the dominant spirit of Sleepy Hallow is a headless figure on horseback said to be a soldier that lost his head on a battle during the Revolutionary War. The locals know him by the name of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow or Galloping Hessian of the Hollow. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” tells the story of Ichabod Crane and his ill-fated attempt to win the heart of Katrina Van Tassel. Ichabod, native of Connecticut, comes to Sleepy Hollow to be the schoolmaster of the village. Along with this, Crane was also the singing – master of the neighborhood that allowed him to make some extra money. Among his students was Katrina Van Tassel, a beautiful eighteen year old woman that also happens to be the only daughter of Baltus Van Tassel, one of the richest farmers in Tarry Town. After visiting Van Tassels’ mansion, Ichabod sees an opportunity to a luxurious life by gaining the affection of the damsel who was to inherit the Van Tassels’ domains. Nonetheless, Ichabod isn´t the only one “competing” for Katrina’s hand in marriage. Brom Van Brunt, also known as Brume Bones, something of a village hero, is the other contender. Brom has already scared off many of Katrina’s other suitors, but Ichabod, a smarter and wary opponent, avoiding physical confrontation, is harder to intimidate. Therefore, Brume Bones takes every chance we gets to embarrass Ichabod in Katrina’s eyes. On a fine autumnal afternoon, Ichabod is invited to a party at the Van Tassels’. At the party some older locals tell Ichabod supernatural stories and the famous legend of the Headless Horseman and all these tales sank deep into his mind. At the end, Ichabod decides that it is the perfect time to purpose to Katrina, yet she rejects him and he lives the party looking quite desolate and chapfallen. On his way back home, “all the stories of ghosts and goblins (…) came crowding upon his recollection” when he sees a large, dark figure. The terrified Ichabod realizes that the rider has no head on his shoulders. Crane tries to run as fast as he can but the Headless Horseman throws his own head at him, crushing Ichabod’s cranium. The next day, there is no sign of Ichabod. The only thing investigators ever found was Ichabod’s head near a shattered pumpkin. The story sets in 1790 in the eastern shore of the Hudson. At that broad expansion of the river denominated Tappan Zee, there lies a small market town which is called Tarry Town.

Not far from this village, about two miles, there is a little valley which is one of the quietest places in the whole world.

That place was apathetic and its inhabitants had a very peculiar personality, this place has long been known as Sleepy Hollow. Some say that an old Indian chief cast a curse at the place and others say it was bewitched by a German doctor. Certain it is, the place still continues under the spell of some witching power. The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions. The Characters In our opinion “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a very interesting story, although being the longest short story we have ever read.

It was very exciting reading it, since it is an interesting subject, like supernatural, adventure and mystery, always with a great deal of suspense and a good plot.

It is very dark and therefore becomes scarier and more intriguing, giving even more desire to read. One of the main characters of the story. It’s a horseman without head that looks for revenge and getting his head back. The Headless Horseman Ichabod Crane Is a native of Connecticut. He came to Sleepy Hollow to work has a schoolteacher and a singing master. He is a tall man with a great intelligence and high skills. He uses rod methods to teach his students. He loves ghost stories and the supernatural. Katrina Van Tassel Is the only daughter of Baltus Van Tassel and the prettiest girl of Sleepy Holow. She is one of Crane's students. Baltus Van Tassel Is the father of Katrina Van Tassel, rich and a great farmer. He was one of the most important people among Sleepy Hollow's residents. He was happy about his wealth but not proud of it. Brom Van Brunt Also known as Brom Bones, is Ichabond’s greatest rival for conquering Katrina. He is violent, strong, and the hero of Sleepy Hollow, known for his heroics and strenght. He is high skilled on horsebackand. The reason why we chose this story is because we knew the movie “Sleepy Hollow”, inspired in this short story.

We decided to learn more about the author’s biography, in order to see the historical content of the story.

Washington Irving was an American author of the 19th century. He was born at 3rd April. He lived part of his life in Manhattan, where his family settled when he was very young.

His extensive work contains, bestsellers, such as "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle", which are introduced in the book "The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon”.

Irving was an experienced traveler, he studied in England, and Madrid, places where he wrote some of his famous books, like “The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus”.

On the night of November 28, with 76 years of life, Washington Irving died of a heart attack in his bedroom at Sunnyside. Legend tells that his last words were: "Well, I must arrange my pillows for another night. When will this end?".

He was buried under a simple headstone at Sleepy Hollow cemetery on December 1st, 1859. Work done by: - Fernando Fontes 12ºC nº10
- João Miguel 12ºD nº 13
- Mariana Lourenço 12ºD nº16
- Sofia Ferreira 12ºD nº 24 Webgraphy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legend_of_Sleepy_Hollow

http://www.gradesaver.com/the-legend-of-sleepy-hollow/study-guide/short-summary/

http://www.gradesaver.com/the-legend-of-sleepy-hollow/study-guide/character-list/

http://www.gradesaver.com/the-legend-of-sleepy-hollow/study-guide/major-themes/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Irving
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